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Gov. Rick Snyder: MAT2 program is an innovative partnership between education, business communities

Michigan Business Network
July 14, 2016 9:00 AM

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Snyder salutes technician training program’s first graduates

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Gov. Rick Snyder today applauded the first graduates of the innovative Michigan Advanced Technician Training (MAT2) program, and thanked participating employers and colleges for their roles in the students’ success.

MAT2 graduates and participants were recognized by the governor and lawmakers at a Capitol ceremony. Snyder set in place the groundbreaking apprenticeship program in 2013. It connects employers with Michigan residents interested in technical occupations and provides skilled trades training in high-demand career fields. MAT2 was inspired by Germany’s dual-education system which combines classroom and workplace experience.

“The MAT2 program is a smart investment in our state,” Snyder said. “As Michigan’s economy continues to grow, the demand for talent to fill the jobs of today and tomorrow has never been greater, especially in the skilled trades. MAT2 is ideal because it lets employers develop their own talent and gives students a great start to their careers. Thanks to the support of participating employers and colleges, MAT2 is having a direct and positive impact on our state. I applaud these graduates for their success and for taking advantage of this outstanding opportunity.”   

Twenty-six students recently graduated from the MAT2 mechatronics program offered by Henry Ford College and Oakland Community College. Mechatronics is the combination of electrical, mechanical and electronic competencies. The students earned associate degrees, completed their training periods and have been hired by their employers.

“The most effective way to address Michigan’s skills gap is through collaboration and partnerships,” said state Rep. Jim Tedder, vice chair of the House Committee on Workforce and Talent Development and a strong advocate of the MAT2 program. “MAT2 leverages the resources and expertise of the business, education and economic development communities. The result is a stronger talent pipeline, more good-paying jobs and a more prosperous state.”

The program is similar to an apprenticeship. Students alternate between classroom instruction and on-the-job training, gaining the necessary hands-on skills and real-world experiences that help them become successful members of the workforce.

“This program is an excellent example of the education and business communities working together,” said Steve Arwood, director of the Michigan Department of Talent and Economic Development. “This is an ideal way to see that students graduate with the most current, in-demand skills that lead to good-paying jobs. Our challenge is to expand this program so more students and companies can have such opportunities.”

Participants have their college tuition paid and receive a weekly stipend during their school periods. They also receive an hourly wage during their work periods.

Students can be trained in mechatronics, technical product design, information technology or computer numerical control. Upcoming application deadlines will be announced in September.

In addition to Henry Ford College and Oakland Community College, other college partners are Baker College – Cadillac, Delta College, Kalamazoo Valley Community College and Mott Community College.   

The MAT2 program is administered by the Talent Investment Agency, which is part of the Department of Talent and Economic Development. Visit michigan.gov/tia for more information on MAT2 or the Talent Investment Agency.

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