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Labor and Economic Opportunity

Talent Investment Agency congratulates fourth class of graduates on completing Michigan's MAT2 apprenticeship program

Contact: Stepheni L. Willis
Cell:  517-243-7423

July 26, 2019

LANSING, Mich. – Today the Talent Investment Agency congratulated the 23 graduates who comprise the fourth class of the Michigan Advanced Technician Training (MAT2) program at a ceremony held at the Michigan Library and Historical Center in Lansing.

MAT2 is an apprenticeship program where students alternate between classroom instruction and paid on-the-job training, gaining the necessary hands-on skills and real-world experiences needed to become a successful and productive member of the skilled workforce.  Students who successfully complete the program receive their degree and have a job upon graduation in an in-demand field.

Employers absorb the cost of this hybrid education, but the State of Michigan has provided an employer training grant for MAT2 employers that offer United States Department of Labor Registered Apprenticeships in order to offset the employer’s cost of paying for schooling, employment wages, and additional living stipends while participants are in school.  Part of the benefit for employers, in addition to having direct involvement in curriculum development in order to ensure that any and all of their talent and skills needs are being met, is that apprenticeship programs ultimately reduces the employers’ recruitment, retention, and training costs when hiring people who are in need of significant training.

Speaking at today’s recognition ceremony were Stephanie Beckhorn, acting director of the Talent and Economic Development Department of Michigan; Sophie Stepke, chair of the MAT2 Strategic Steering Committee and Training Manager at ZF North America; and a MAT2 student.

“The MAT2 program is an employer-led collaborative that effectively addresses the skills gap and supports Gov. Whitmer’s plan to increase the number of Michiganders with a post-secondary credential from 45 to 60 percent by 2030,” said Beckhorn.  “Good-paying jobs in Michigan don’t always require a four-year degree, but all good-paying careers require some sort of post-secondary education, be it an apprenticeship, specialized credential, certificate, or associate degree.  By providing both classroom instruction and on-the-job training, apprenticeship programs serve a vital role by preparing workers for critical occupations in Michigan’s labor market. Congratulations to today’s graduates on a job well done!”

Michigan’s Department of Talent and Economic Development expects 545,000 skilled trade jobs will be created through 2025, mostly in the fields of construction, manufacturing, healthcare, automotive, and information technology.  This program not only trains skilled workers for the Michigan labor market, but also offers Michigan workers high-wage, high-demand job opportunities that do not require a bachelor’s degree.

The 23 graduates were students of the MAT2 Mechatronics and Technical Product Design programs at Baker College of Cadillac, Henry Ford College, Mott Community College and Oakland Community College.  Today’s celebration included representatives from the 16 companies that sponsored the students and the four colleges.

Through MAT2, the participating students gained skills at an accelerated pace – just nine eight-week school periods – which required regular communication between the school and the companies about the concepts being taught.  These connections lay the groundwork for future collaborations between industry and higher education, paving the way for an adept workforce capable of filling the future needs of Michigan manufacturers, suppliers and other skilled trades.

The MAT2 program was originally administered by the Talent Investment Agency but is now in transition to the German American Chamber of Commerce of the Midwest (GACC Midwest).  Visit Pure Michigan Talent Connect for more information on the MAT2 program.

Employer MAT2 Employer Partner Location
 Brose North American, Inc.  Auburn Hills
 Cadillac Castings, Incl  Cadillac
 Circuit Controls  Petoskey
 Durr Systems, Inc.  Southfield
 EMAG, LLC  Farmington Hills
 Heller   Troy
 Hutchinson  Cadillac
 Jervis B. Webb  Farmington Hills
 K + S Services  Southgate
 Rec Boat Holdings  Cadillac
 RexAir  Cadillac
 Skilled Manufacturing, Inc.  Traverse City
 Valeo Automotive  Auburn Hills
 ZF North America - Lapeer  Lapeer
 ZF North America - Northville  Northville
 Zoller  Ann Arbor

About the Talent Investment Agency (TIA)
TIA is the agency that combines Michigan Unemployment Insurance and Workforce Development and is responsible for their activities. Businesses need a talented workforce. Workers need the right skills to compete for available jobs. TIA programs are focused on job preparedness, career-based education, worker training, employment assistance and unemployment insurance. Please visit our website to see all that we offer.