At forum two of the Pancakes and Politics speaker series, Wayne County Community College District Chancellor Curtis L. Ivery called for a collaborative, productive regional partnership that would expand and coordinate career, technical and workforce training across southeast Michigan.
The Chancellor invited organizations including Macomb Community College, Oakland Community College, Schoolcraft College, Henry Ford College, and Wayne State University to discuss and coordinate efforts around the career, technical and workforce training needs of students, residents, and the region’s employers.
“I am committed to deepening and expanding WCCCD’s community leadership and bringing together the leaders of the various public, non-profit, and private career and workforce education organizations in Detroit, Wayne County, and surrounding areas, around a unified and coordinated agenda for talent development,” said Ivery.
Job talent in Detroit was one of the topics at the forum and arose when Vice-Chairman and Chief Administrative Officer at DTE Energy and panelist Dave Meador mentioned the lack of sufficient job talent in the city and the need to feel job openings in the near future.
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan has been working with area leaders to grow Detroit’s base of skilled workers with comprehensive workforce training efforts in Detroit. An estimated 40,000 skilled workers are needed throughout metro Detroit to fill positions in fields as diverse as advanced manufacturing, logistics, truck driving, information technology and cyber security, health sciences, and more.
“We are convinced that a regional response is needed to effectively respond to the region’s need for a highly skilled workforce,” Ivery said. “Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan has worked tirelessly with leaders to put a comprehensive network of programs in place that establishes Detroit and the metro region as a national model for effective workforce training and development. We want to support those efforts in ways that help all of our students, residents, and employers thrive.”
WCCCD is the largest urban community college in the state, and with six campuses across 36 cities and townships and nearly 120 career and academic programs, has led multiple workforce development efforts in Wayne County. Peer institutions have also established multiple programs, ideas, and training infrastructure. A collaborative approach in planning education, workforce connections, systems, and solutions would create a more comprehensive, sustainable, and efficient workforce system to meet the incredible demand, and to spur continued growth and investment in our region.
“We can initiate a heightened phase of collaboration among our sister colleges,” Ivery said. “Our collaboration will provide a way to compare and introduce best practices in workforce training and expedite delivery to the communities we serve.”
“We all want the same things—educational success for our students. Our challenges require that we are all in this together.”