State grant supports innovative UCS program preparing students for high-paying careers in engineering, automation and design
State grant supports innovative UCS program preparing students for high-paying careers in engineering, automation and design
Posted on 01/26/2018
District Logo

An innovative program that prepares Utica Community Schools students for high-paying advanced manufacturing jobs has received a $400,000 grant from the Michigan Department of Education.

The Stevenson Center for Manufacturing, Automation, Design and Engineering (MADE), which will be offered for the first time this fall, received a Career and Technology Innovation and Equipment grant from the Michigan Department of Education (MDE).

“Stevenson MADE works hand in hand with business and post-secondary educational leaders to give our students a competitive advantage for the high skills, high demand and high wage jobs that will grow our region’s economy,” Superintendent Dr. Christine Johns said.

Stevenson MADE is a four-year program that integrates rigorous academic content with practical experiences in fabrication, automation and design engineering. In addition to specialized courses, advanced manufacturing principles will be integrated into all core academic courses of English, social studies, math and science.

Students participating in the program can earn college credit and will graduate with workforce experiences and industry recognized certifications.

The MDE grant will upgrade fabrication and design engineering equipment as well as add automation equipment to support the new program, which will be housed at Stevenson High School. The equipment improvements give UCS students access to cutting edge technology now being used in businesses to support advanced manufacturing.

Industry partners involved in the program’s planning have supported the initiative as important to address a critical regional and global workforce need.

“We have been proud to be part of the planning process to better prepare students for high-demand successful careers and see this initiative as a model that can dramatically impact the economic vitality of our region,” said Michael J. Kidder, senior vice president of corporate marketing at Altair.

Bruce Osani, general manager of Fori Automation, said the program will provide businesses with “entry level employees who understand our systems and have the ability to be creative thinkers, work collaboratively with others, communicate effectively and support company innovation.”

He said: “The Stevenson MADE initiative meets this goal and has put us on the ground floor of something truly special.”

In awarding the grant, state leaders noted the UCS program supports the goals of the Michigan Career Pathways Alliance, a group of more than 100 education, business, economic development and labor organizations from across the state.