More than $600K of federal funding is going to Macomb Community College apprenticeship program

It is a challenge that confronts employers across the country and also throughout Michigan.

"As I travel throughout Macomb County as well as the state of Michigan, one thing that I hear over and over again from employers, is that they have jobs that are available," said US Sen. Gary Peters. "They just don’t have folks that have the skills that they need to hire."

But Macomb's Michigan Apprenticeship Program Plus is a program working to combat the problem, and Monday Sen. Peters came to Macomb Community College to announce it's receiving a major financial boost.

"That’s why we work to get this funding in the last appropriations bill, happy to announce today over $600,000 being provided to Macomb Community College to continue this program for another four years."

College officials say the money will go toward helping more students prepare themselves to gain meaningful employment.

"The MAP Plus program has been very successful. Since the beginning we’ve had 378 students who completed the program," said Jim Sawyer, the MCC president.

"We expect 160 students to enroll in the program during the grant period which runs through October 2025," said Donald Hutchison, dean of Engineering and Advanced Technology.

And the training for those in the program will be free.

"It's important for folks to know that students who are accepted into this program you have zero cost," Peters said.

Lawmakers bake it clear… there are plenty of good jobs available.

"There’s not a shortage of jobs what we have to connect is, the skill training program to make sure those folks have skills they need to get those jobs," Peters added.

In fact, supporting the MAP-plus is not only a boot for job seekers and employers but also the state.

"We can’t grow the Michigan economy if we don’t have skilled workers to fill the jobs that are available," Peters said. "And Macomb Community College is at the forefront of doing that."