HFCC provides access to high-quality, affordable education

HFCC’s enrollment has grown to more than 18,000 students this fall, as people seek affordable, high-quality education and training for jobs in Michigan’s new economy.

HFCC Alternative Energy Technology instructor Greg Laskowsky (right) shows one of HFCC’s solar energy panels to two students.

HFCC science instructor Paul Root (second from right) conducts a lab with biotechnology students. Biotechnology is one of HFCC’s newest programs to train people for jobs in Michigan’s new economy.

For more than 70 years, Henry Ford Community College in Dearborn has been providing local residents with access to high-quality, affordable education. HFCC prepares residents for a rapidly changing world and workplace by offering more than 100 associate degree transfer and career programs.

            Today, recent high school graduates, displaced workers, homemakers, parents and retirees are enrolling in HFCC in record numbers to prepare for careers in Michigan’s new economy. HFCC plays an important role in our local economy by developing programs to provide workers with new skills for jobs in developing industries for Michigan’s new economy, including renewable energy and biotechnology.

            In addition to providing a pool of highly skilled workers for Detroit-area employers, HFCC also specializes in customized workforce development training for major businesses and industrial corporations.

            Henry Ford Community College has the right education for the new economy. Call (800) 585-HFCC or go to www.hfcc.edu.

 HFCC experiences record enrollment this fall
Henry Ford Community College has a record enrollment for the fall 2009 semester. Nearly 18,000 students are enrolled this fall, the highest in HFCC’s history.

            “Students are becoming increasingly savvy consumers,” said Becky Chadwick, HFCC’s director of research, planning and effectiveness. “Henry Ford Community College offers lower costs, has excellent transfer opportunities and has small class sizes with faculty dedicated to teaching. In addition, HFCC uses the latest technology, provides practical training and has hundreds of programs with direct pathways to employment.”

            For many HFCC students, the lower tuition cost and HFCC’s offered programs are the main reasons they chose to attend the college this fall.

            “I work in Dearborn,” HFCC student Colleen Lazar said. “I really like HFCC’s nursing program, but I also save money on gas going from work to school. Also, the tuition at HFCC is less expensive than any nearby college.”

            HFCC offers a tuition freeze guarantee, which guarantees that if tuition rates increase, students can apply for a rebate for the amount of the increase upon graduation.

            “We often look for a single variable answer as to why our enrollment has increased when really it is a result of many factors,” Chadwick said. “In addition to our students being more savvy consumers, we have improved our efficiencies internally so we are better able to anticipate demand and respond accordingly. Also, given the Michigan economy, many people have returned to school to train or be retrained for high-wage, high-demand jobs.”

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.

            According to Linda West, HFCC’s director of workforce development, 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.

            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.

 HFCC provides training for Michigan’s growing film industry
To meet the workforce needs of Michigan’s growing film industry, Henry Ford Community College’s Michigan Technical Education Center (MTEC) in Dearborn 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
Henry Ford Community College 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.

            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.  

            “This project will allow us to accommodate our enrollment growth and educate more people for 21st century careers,” HFCC President Gail 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 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, prepares 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.

            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.