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Michigan community colleges receive grant to improve programs leading to in-demand jobs

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BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - MARCH 16: Nurses in the accident and emergency dept of Selly Oak Hospital work during a busy shift on March 16, 2010 in Birmingham, England. As the UK gears up for one of the most hotly contested general elections in recent history it is expected that that the economy, immigration, industry, the NHS and education are likely to form the basis of many of the debates. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

An $800,000 grant will be used to improve student access to community college programs that could lead to in-demand jobs, the Michigan Community College Association announced Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021.

In a written statement, the association said programs in the areas of health, applied business, protective services, engineering technologies, computer and information services and skilled trades would benefit from the grant.

“This grant gives us the opportunity to deliver for students, helping them gain skills that will lead to successful careers,” Mike Hansen, president of the MCCA, said. “Community colleges are preparing to welcome new students to campus right now through Futures for Frontliners and Michigan Reconnect programs. These programs make a real difference in real lives, and these skills have never been more important.”

The project would ensure programs were designed to meet the needs of local labor markets, as well as industry-recognized credentials.

The grant was awarded by Ascendium Education Group, based in Madison, Wisconsin. According to the statement, the Michigan Center for Student Success would spearhead the effort and collaborate with Aspen Institute, Community College Research Center, Jobs for the Future and Achieving the Dream.

“Community colleges are constantly thinking about how the programs we offer are preparing graduates for the work of the future,” Peter Provenzano, chancellor of Oakland Community College and MCCA executive committee member, said. “This work will help our college and MCCA member colleges across the state improve clear pathways to associate and bachelor’s degrees.”