MAT2 program receives prestigious public relations campaign award

Migrant Services Story, May 2019

TIA’s Michigan Advanced Technology Training (MAT2) program recently received the highest honor possible from the Central Michigan chapter of the Public Relations Society of America during its annual PACE Awards event.  On April 18, 2019, Gud Marketing was awarded the Pinnacle Award, in the social media marketing category, for their work on the “Get in the Game with MAT2” campaign.
This campaign was designed to recruit new students to the MAT2 program.  To create heightened awareness, and drive attendance, Gud Marketing hired Joel Goss, a YouTube gaming influencer with over 1.4 million followers.  Gud worked with community colleges across the state to set up a series of events hosted by Goss.  Goss, a Michigan native with a skill set, and career aspirations similar to those in the MAT2 program, was able to relate to the prospective students and influence them to not only attend these events but to also enroll in the apprenticeship program. 

During the event, Goss shared his perspective on how MAT2 and apprenticeship programs are addressing skill-gap shortages in advanced manufacturing.

“Michigan is a great place to make a living for students who are interested in a high-tech career,” said Goss. “Recent advances in technology have really made a lot of options much more accessible.  Thanks to the MAT2 program, employers are paying for students to earn a degree, as well as pay for on-the-job training. It’s really a win-win.”

The social marketing campaign resulted in an increase in overall awareness and knowledge of MAT2 and an increase in MAT2 enrollment – total of 96 applicants over the course of seven months in 2017, and a total of 78 applicants in just three months in 2018.  Overall engagement in the social media campaign surpassed 6.6 million, including clicks to the website, video views, comments, reactions and shares. 

“High-tech manufacturing employers in Michigan are hungry for eager students looking to embark on a challenging, high-paying career right here at home,” Marcia Black-Watson, director of industry engagement for TIA, said. “These events showed students they don’t have to leave the state to find a meaningful career working with cutting-edge technology. These jobs are right in their own backyard.”

The PACE Awards are mid-Michigan’s highest honor of public relations activities and are awarded annually to practitioners who, in the judgment of their peers, have successfully addressed a contemporary issue with exemplary professional skill, creativity and resourcefulness. More than 300 organizations have been recognized for excellence in public relations over the past two decades. Non-profit organizations, corporations and public and private agencies in Clinton, Eaton, Genesee, Gratiot, Ingham, Jackson, Livingston and Shiawassee counties can submit entries.