U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow joined local businesses at Oakland Community College's Auburn Hills campus to unveil a major initiative to help train workers for new high-skilled jobs. Senator Stabenow's New Skills for New Jobs Act builds on successful efforts in Michigan and several other states to help community colleges partner with local businesses to provide worker training for new high-skilled jobs. Stabenow's bill would provide a federal match to double the number of workers and businesses that can participate in the Michigan New Jobs Training Program.
"OCC is proud to be a lead partner in the MNJT program," said Dr. Timothy Meyer, Chancellor at Oakland Community College. "One of the college's major objectives is to provide businesses with highly-skilled employees to improve the economy of Oakland County and the state as a whole. We applaud the Senator's efforts to increase support for MNJT."
The MNJT program was established in 2008 to help employers provide new employees the training necessary to take high-skilled jobs. Under the program, a business enters into a partnership with a community college to provide new employees with the training necessary to fill skilled positions the business would like to create. New positions must represent a net increase in jobs in the state for the employer. Once newly trained employees begin working, their state income tax payments are used to pay back the community college for the cost of the training.
Stabenow's New Skills for New Jobs Act provides a federal match equal to the state training reimbursement from programs like the Michigan New Jobs Training program. The federal government will provide reimbursement to the community college every quarter. By matching the state contribution generated from the new worker's income tax payments, the federal initiative will repay the community college more quickly and dramatically increase the number of eligible companies and workers that can participate.
In the past two years, Oakland Community College has received over $8.5 million in Michigan New Jobs Training program funding to train over 500 eligible new employees for global companies with operations in Oakland County. Oakland Community College is the largest of Michigan's community colleges, enrolling over 75,000 students per year.
Senator Stabenow's bill has the support of leading business and educational groups, including the Michigan Community College Association, UAW, Detroit Regional Chamber, Michigan Works! Association, Michigan Agri-Business Association, Small Business Majority, Michigan College Access Network, MichBIO, Health Care Association of Michigan, Next Energy, American Association of Community Colleges, and the Blue Green Alliance.