Delta College ‘sprints’ with Biden to get Michiganders ready for manufacturing jobs

By Kyle Kaminski

February 1, 2024

Legislation signed by President Joe Biden is driving demand for advanced manufacturing workers in clean energy, semiconductors, and more. One community college is making sure Michiganders are ready to take advantage of it.

MICHIGAN—Hundreds of community colleges, labor unions, and employers across the country are making new commitments to prepare workers for manufacturing jobs as federal investments from President Joe Biden’s administration continue to drive nationwide demand for skilled labor.

As part of Biden’s Advanced Manufacturing Workforce Sprint, more than 160 organizations announced plans this week to join a focused, nationwide effort to train more workers for advanced manufacturing jobs—including those that do not require a four-year college degree.

Among them: Delta College in Michigan.

According to a press release from the White House, Delta College this year plans to enroll 300 students in a new, 15-week accelerated technician certificate program, or its engineering degree program—both of which were developed in tandem with local semiconductor manufacturers.

Delta College has also committed to recruiting more students from local K-12 schools to enroll in the programs, and then providing “wraparound support” to help them finish their education, including help paying for expenses like housing, child care, transportation, food, and healthcare.

Biden’s administration launched the nationwide “sprint” last year as a way to grow the country’s manufacturing workforce in preparation for the new jobs made possible through legislation like the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the CHIPS and Science Act, and the Inflation Reduction Act.

The overarching idea: As federal investments lead to more job opportunities nationwide, American workers need to be prepared to take advantage of them—including in Michigan.

Since the nationwide initiative began in October, more than 160 organizations have committed to tangible steps to help more Americans train for advanced manufacturing careers, leading to more than 150 new apprenticeship programs being developed to date, federal officials said.

All told, more than 4,700 new apprentices have also been hired in the last three months.

Biden’s administration has also launched similar workforce “sprints” to create more apprenticeship programs in trucking and cybersecurity. The current program also includes a focus on expanding education and training opportunities in biotechnology and biomanufacturing.

Since Biden took office three years ago, 14 million jobs have been created in the United States, including 800,000 manufacturing jobs. And as a result of the millions of jobs created under the Biden administration, unemployment is under 4% nationally, and in Michigan, it’s currently 4.3%.

READ MORE: Michigan women land good-paying construction jobs with federal help

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Author

  • Kyle Kaminski

    Kyle Kaminski is an award-winning investigative journalist with more than a decade of experience covering news across Michigan. Prior to joining The ‘Gander, Kyle worked as the managing editor at City Pulse in Lansing and as a reporter for the Traverse City Record-Eagle.

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