HFC hosts successful MAT² opening ceremony

Photo courtesy of Henry Ford College  Corporate partners and students celebrate their recognition Aug. 25 at Henry Ford College during MAT².

Photo courtesy of Henry Ford College 
Corporate partners and students celebrate their recognition Aug. 25 at Henry Ford College during MAT².

DEARBORN —Henry Ford College and the Michigan Economic Development Corp. helped celebrate and recognize the significant contributions made by program partners, students and families in support of the Michigan Advanced Technician Training program Aug. 25.

Students and corporate partners attended the MAT² opening ceremony in the Andrew A. Mazzara Administrative Services & Conference Center on HFC’s main campus.

This is the second year HFC has participated in this initiative. This effort, which is coordinated by the MEDC, combines paid-work experience with three years of classroom instruction in the fields of mechatronics, information technology and technical product design.

Corporate sponsors pay tuition and wages for students participating in the program. Some of the many participating corporate sponsors include Brose North America, Heller Machine Tool, ZF Group, FTE Automotive, Volkswagen of America, Kostal Group, EMAG, Durr, Jenoptik, Kern, Link Engineering, Weil Engineering, Orbitak, Secure 24, BorgWarner Auburn Hills,  Pontiac Coil,  Magna and American Axle.

The MAT2 program is based on the German Dual Education System and combines business and education to create technology jobs, as well as provide a way to develop qualified workers. MAT2 combines state-of-the-art training facilities with actual work sites to give students a skills-based education. Students alternate between the classroom and the workplace, gaining marketable skills and knowledge.

Mechatronics technicians provide support to mechanical engineers, modify machines, make minor changes and provide maintenance for related equipment in advanced manufacturing companies.

The MAT2 program provides:

• A three-year training program with all costs paid by an employer.

• An associate’s degree in a high-tech, in-demand field.

• On-the-job training with pay.

• Guaranteed employment upon successful completion (the student must commit to remaining on the job for at least two years after the training period ends).

“The MAT2 program at HFC plays an essential role in helping employers fill their needs for skilled technicians,” HFC President Stan Jensen said. “We are absolutely thrilled to continue our role in this effort and look forward to helping greater numbers of students achieve success through this ground-breaking opportunity.”

Mike Gidley, executive vice president of Pontiac Coil in Clarkston, agreed with Jensen, and applauded students for undertaking such a rigorous program with energy, passion and intelligence.

“This program fills an important need in our industry,” he said. “As a business owner, I struggle each day to hire people with the skills and experiences you receive in this program.

“These are marketable skills that many companies and organizations have not been able to fill within their organizations. You should be proud of what you are accomplishing through this program.”

To learn more about MAT2, go to www.mitalent.org/mat2.