Schoolcraft President Dr. Glenn Cerny joins panel discussion
Finding ways to continue to build Michigan’s workforce and raise the education level of its citizens were among the topics presented in a far-reaching program held Wednesday, August 10, in the DiPonio Room of the VisTaTech Center.
Schoolcraft College President Dr. Glenn Cerny participated in a panel discussion that followed the presentation of the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) and the Bureau of Labor Market Information’s (LMI) “Hot 50 Job Outlook Through 2030.” Download the report.
The overall jobs outlook is positive for Michigan, with a gain of about 375,000 jobs projected for each year over the period, representing growth of almost 9%. A key factor in that projected growth is that the baby-boom generation, defined by the U.S. Census Bureau as those born between 1946 and 1964, continues to age out of the workforce.
Fields such as manufacturing and health care are among those affected. This is why Schoolcraft College, based on careful analysis and regular dialogues with business and industry leaders, invested in the Manufacturing & Engineering Center, which opened in the summer of 2020, and the Health Sciences Center, which opened to partial occupancy earlier this year and will be at full capacity for the Fall 2022 semester.
“The manufacturing and the health care sectors have been the core piece of the College for the past four to five years,” Dr. Cerny said. “We’ve heard the familiar story about resupplying the workforce, so we’ve been working extensively with our business partners to make sure we can address that.”
In addition to the many programs that lead directly to good jobs in high-demand careers, Schoolcraft College also offers a path to a bachelor’s degree.
“Almost half of students who complete a bachelor’s degree start at a community college,” Dr. Cerny said. “I don’t think people realize that. That’s a very important statistic, and it’s probably going to grow because of the economy.”
Dr. Cerny was joined on the panel by key educational and business leaders:
- Jena Baker-Calloway, Director, Michigan State University Detroit Center
- Mashell Carissimi, CEO and Owner, JMC Electrical Contractor, LLC
- Jan Harrington David, Vice President for Talent Acquisition, EEO Diversity & Workforce Solutions, Henry Ford Health System
Kim Trent, Deputy Director – Prosperity, Michigan Department of Labor & Economic Opportunity (LEO), moderated the discussion.
Intertwined with workforce development is improving the education and skills of Michigan citizens through programs like Michigan Reconnect.
Michigan Reconnect allows Michigan residents who are 25 or older and without a college degree to attend community college, such as Schoolcraft College, for free. This program covers the resident tuition rate, fees and more to allow Michiganders to pursue Pell Grant-eligible associate degrees and occupational certificates.
“I can’t tell you how much Michigan Reconnect has meant; we definitely have seen an influx of older students,” said Dr. Cerny, noting that funding for wraparound services to help students with issues such as child care are critical to ensure success.