HFCC’s M-TEC provides workforce training for southeast Michigan

Henry Ford Community College’s Michigan Technical Education Center in Dearborn is in the forefront of providing ready access to educational and training opportunities for business and industry and the general public to support southeast Michigan’s economic core.


M-TEC supports the region’s economic development by providing customized programs and services to upgrade skills of the current workforce or skill building and occupational training and certification for job seekers, said Linda West, HFCC’s director of workforce development.


HFCC’s M-TEC partners in customized training initiatives include Michigan’s Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth, Southeast Michigan Community Alliance, Detroit Workforce Development Department, Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services and Michigan’s Department of Human Services.


One successful workforce initiative contributed to keeping an important employer in Detroit. In 2007, state and local officials asked HFCC to develop a training program for Caraco Pharmaceutical Laboratories’ pharmaceutical operators. Caraco wanted to stay in Detroit and expand, but needed more highly skilled employees. Since then, HFCC has trained 102 new, entry-level pharmaceutical operators and is on track to train 500 new employees for Caraco’s expansion.


HFCC also has a partnership with the Oakwood and Henry Ford health systems to train 200 unemployed people in customer service, computer and other skills for entry-level healthcare jobs, in conjuction with SEMCA, ACCESS and the Department of Human Services.


HFCC provides training for Michigan’s growing film industry


To meet the workforce needs of Michigan’s growing film industry, HFCC’s M-TEC offers courses preparing people for entry-level employment in the film industry in the Detroit area.


Some students’ tuition is paid by Michigan’s No Worker Left Behind program. The Southeast Michigan Community Alliance assists HFCC in filling the classes with students interested in film industry careers.
Goals of the program are to put Michigan’s unemployed back to work and provide a trained local workforce to complement the incentives offered by the state to draw feature film production to Michigan, said HFCC President Gail Mee.


Partners in HFCC’s workforce development project are the Office of the Wayne County Executive, Michigan’s Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth, the Southeast Michigan Community Alliance and TicTock Studios.


HFCC has expansion plans to accommodate more students, programs


HFCC is expanding to accommodate enrollment growth and new programs with the purchase of a 10-acre parcel of property from the Society of Manufacturing Engineers. The property, just north of HFCC’s main campus at Evergreen and Ford roads, is the first new space added in 10 years.


HFCC also has a $15 million capital outlay plan to renovate and expand the Science building. The end result will be a state-of-the-art facility to support increased demand for science classes, the growth of healthcare programs and new initiatives in biotechnology and sustainability.


This project comes at a time when HFCC enrollment has reached record levels.


“Approval of this project will allow us to accommodate our enrollment growth and educate more people for 21st century careers,” Mee said. “HFCC plays a vital role as a catalyst for economic and workforce development in southeast Michigan by preparing students for jobs in the new Michigan economy.”


HFCC has a new program in biotechnology and plans to expand its high-demand healthcare programs.


HFCC’s Energy Technology Program is expanding, too, with a curriculum focused on the renewable energy, including geothermal, wind source, fuel and smart-home technology, and co-generation and power backup systems.


New DNA sequencer is cornerstone of new Biotechnology Training Program


HFCC’s Science Division has acquired a state-of-the-art automated DNA sequencer that will serve as the centerpiece of its new Biotechnology Technician Training Program.


The new program, developed by the HFCC Science Division with help of local biotechnology companies, will prepare students for work in the biotechnology industry. After earning an associate’s degree or a certificate, students will be able to acquire an entry-level job in the field or continue their studies at a four-year university.


The Biotechnology Technician Training program will teach students how to use the DNA sequencer, which will give students an understanding of DNA and genetic processes.