The National Science Foundation grant (NSF) awarded to Mid Michigan Community College (MMCC) demonstrates the college’s intention to meet area manufacturing needs by forming meaningful partnerships and leveraging alternative funding sources. The overarching goal of the project is to promote learning in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) by providing a seamless career pathway for workers in plastics technology. The collaboration of area industries with the MMCC Plastics program will be an important aspect in the development.
MMCC intends to create short term and robust training programs that are specifically designed around local employer’s training needs and employment opportunities. Students will be trained for jobs as laboratory technicians, mold designers, production supervisors, mold technicians and plastics machinery maintenance technicians for the rapidly growing local plastics forming industry.
With an abundance of beneficial uses of plastics that touch every aspect of modern society, it certainly makes sense that the plastics industry is the third largest manufacturing industry in the United States. The U.S. plastics industry employs more than 1 million workers located at more than 17,600 plastics facilities. In fact, the plastics industry has a presence in every state and contributes $374 billion in annual shipments to our economy.
(SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Associate Vinyl Institute.)
MMCC will incorporate a laddered approach of education to prepare students to enter the workforce and/or transfer to Ferris State University. The students can earn a workforce certificate as an MMCC Training Credential, an Academic Certificate in Plastics Technology and an Associate Degree in Applied Science Plastics Technology which will be transferrable to Ferris State University’s four-year Bachelor of Science Plastics Technology Engineering Degree.
The NSF grant gives MMCC a significant opportunity to create a program that will meet the current needs of the surrounding communities. The manufacturers of the area have a rich history in plastics and the MMCC Plastics program will contribute to the continuation of history for generations to come.
"This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under
Grant No.1204908. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation."