FLINT, Michigan -- A new scholarship program for young adults ages 16-24 provides job training in a variety of fields through Mott Community College’s Workforce and Economic Development Division.
The program, which is supported through grant funding, provides short-term training in fields that include automotive, computer science, healthcare, manufacturing and skilled trades, and human and professional services.
“That age range (16-24) is the hardest population to try to serve,” said Daphne Epps, who is the program coordinator and manages youth programs for the workforce and economic development division. “This allows them to find a career track or to re-invent themselves at a critical age.”
The career training programs begin in January and February and are open to all Genesee County students. The workforce and economic development division also provides job placement assistance once the program is completed and follow-up services for one year after the program is completed. Epps said they can also connect students who need to complete high school with the necessary resources to do so.
“The most challenging pieces are the 16 and 17 year olds,” Epps said. “If students are in their senior year, then we can dual enroll them. If they’re working toward a GED, we can also support that. If students are disengaged, we can get them into an adult ed and GED program and then get them prepared for one of these programs.”
Automotive programs include alternative fuels and under-car repair certification. Computer science programs include certifications in computer network technology, computer programming, computer repair technician, computer science, computer security, help desk, Google IT support, and web development. Healthcare certifications are health unit coordinator, medical assistant, and medical administrative specialist. Manufacturing and skilled trades certifications are in machine tool technology, CAD, CAD/CAM, electrical technology for apprentice electricians, electronics and electrical technology, HVAC and refrigeration, mechatronics, and welding. Human and professional service certifications include cosmetic service, corrections, cosmetology, early childhood, nail technician, substance abuse technician, professional baking, and professional cooking.
Some of the courses are non-credit certifications that follow the workforce and economic development division’s training calendar, while other programs follow Mott’s main campus calendar. The COVID-19 pandemic has shifted how some of the programs are delivered. Programs that can be done remotely will be virtual during the winter. Ones that require in-person lab time will be scheduled in a way that is safe and socially distanced.
The pandemic has also posed a challenge in getting word out about the program, since community events and other avenues for promotion have largely been canceled.
“It has been challenging, but we’ve been able to do some billboards, yard signs, grocery store flyers,” Epps said, also noting that they’ve done promotions on social media. “We’ve had to go old school to find and reach students.”
Epps hopes to have 40 students enrolled in the first year of the program, but also said they’d find ways to accommodate more if there is demand.
“We would love to have more, we’ll always find ways to support them,” she said.
Students interested in any of the programs can email [email protected] or call (810) 232-2512.