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Friday, June 23, 2017

WCC brings workforce development to American Center for Mobility

  • WCC student Calvin Tuttle installs Dedicated Short Range Communications technology into a car that is part of a U-M connected vehicle study. The college's involvement at the American Center for Mobility will allow WCC to continue developing and delivering mobility training for students.

ANN ARBOR, Mich., May 31, 2017 – Washtenaw Community College is allying a consortium of community colleges to develop training for skilled professionals at the American Center for Mobility (ACM). The college is opening an office on the ACM campus to work with employers on the development of connected and automated vehicles. The office is expected to open in June.

“Dr. Bellanca and the team at Washtenaw Community College are well positioned to play a leadership part because of their active role in understanding what is coming and developing programs to respond,” said Paul Krutko, president and CEO, Ann Arbor SPARK. Krutko also serves as treasurer on the board of the ACM. “Ensuring our future workforce is ready to address the new career opportunities and changes that the connected and autonomous vehicle industries will create is important to our long-term economic success.”

“This will enable us to develop workforce training curricula and provide experiential learning opportunities for students hand-in-hand with industry to ensure that our education and training programs meet the needs of employers for the emerging jobs in the mobility industry,” said Dr. Rose B. Bellanca, president, WCC.

As part of the ACM community college consortium, WCC and Wayne County Community College District are hosting a session at the Mackinac Policy Conference tomorrow (Thursday, June 1) to discuss the role of education in creating a talent pipeline for the mobility workforce.

Bellanca and WCCCD Chancellor Dr. Curtis L. Ivery will be joined by Roger Curtis, director of the Michigan Department of Talent and Economic Development on the panel. The session will be moderated by Krutko.

“Wayne County Community College District is pleased to be among the first community college partners in the training of skilled professionals at the America Center for Mobility,” stated Ivery. “The ability to harness and leverage our collective expanse of resources among the community college partners is transformational and will add value to the economic drive for this region and the State of Michigan.”

The ACM community college consortium will focus on skill training for new and incumbent workers including customized training for employers or university engineering programs. The consortium will also work on developing career pathways to a certificate or associate degree for skilled professionals or for students planning to transfer to a four-year college or university. Programs for K-12 students in science, technology, engineering and math are being considered as well.

Areas of focus for the consortium include vehicle-to-vehicle communications, vehicle design, quality control, and advanced vehicle manufacturing; vehicle-to-infrastructure, data management, cyber security, computer systems and programming, data analytics, and vehicle testing; and transportation systems such as global distribution, supply chain, and logistics.

WCC is leasing space on the ACM campus at Willow Run Airport through Wayne County Airport Authority. The agreement will provide WCC with strategic access to major automotive, IT and telecommunications companies working to transform the transportation industry through the development of vehicle-to-everything and connected and automated vehicle technologies.

Establishing a physical presence at ACM will enable WCC to upskill and prepare the current and future workforce by:

  • Developing and delivering world-class emerging sector mobility skills gap training
  • Establishing apprenticeships in mobility technology
  • Offering experiential learning opportunities for students

Designated by the U.S. Department of Transportation as one of the first national proving grounds in the country, ACM is a non-profit testing and product development facility for future mobility, designed to enable safe validation of connected and automated vehicle technology, and accelerate the development of voluntary standards.

Participation in the ACM is the next step in mobility workforce development for WCC, which opened the Advanced Transportation Center in 2015. The ATC was established to meet the needs of transportation and manufacturing professionals to stay compliant, up-to-date and innovative on rapidly developing advanced manufacturing, intelligent transportation, and automotive technology.

Nearly 1,700 leaders in Michigan business, education, philanthropy and politics are registered to attend the Detroit Regional Chamber's 37th annual Mackinac Policy Conference from May 31 to June 2 at the Grand Hotel. This year's conference pillars focus on increasing economic opportunity in Detroit and outstate, positioning Michigan to be a leader in next-generation mobility, and restoring civility in politics.

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[Media contact: Brendan Prebo, AVP Marketing & Communications, bprebo@wccnet.edu, 313-683-1155]

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