Explore options for a changing workforce

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Regardless of your career goals, Montcalm Community College has programs to help you succeed.

Several new partnerships with other institutions offer degree opportunities beginning Fall 2013 in information security, landscape and lawn management, aviation maintenance, hotel management, dietary and food service management, restaurant and food industry management, and skilled trades.

“In addition to career-specific skills, business and industry leaders seek employees who think creatively and have a passion for their profession,” says Rob Spohr, MCC vice president for student and academic affairs. “We have established partnerships with other institutions and curriculum where students learn these skills and gain real world experiences to help guide them as they enter the workforce.”

MCC President Bob Ferrentino says this is just a sample of MCC’s university partnerships, which are critical to MCC’s mission to be a leader in creating a learning community.

“While many of our students complete their associate degree at MCC, others transfer to earn their baccalaureate,” Ferrentino says. “Our collaborative efforts with other institutions provide more options for our students and ultimately help them on their path to degree completion.”

“Our collaborative efforts with other institutions provide more options for our students and ultimately help them on their path to degree completion.”
– Bob Ferrentino, MCC President

Information Security

“Cybercrime is a sign of the times,” Spohr says. “The reality is that as technology evolves, employers need professionals trained to investigate computer-related criminal activity.”

During his fifth State of the Union address, President Barack Obama announced a long-anticipated executive order on cybersecurity. It outlines new policies aimed at stemming the tide of cyberespionage on American companies and government agencies through the expansion of real-time sharing of cyber threat information to companies that operate critical infrastructure. It also focuses on shoring up the defenses for America’s critical infrastructure that is vulnerable to cyberattacks, by establishing cybersecurity standards.

Through a unique partnership with Kaplan University, MCC students can personalize their degree in information technology with a career focus area in information security and forensics.

MCC’s Associate of Applied Science degree in Information Security prepares students to investigate system vulnerabilities and implement solutions that provide protection against security attacks. The majority of coursework may be completed at MCC, and the remaining Kaplan University courses may be completed online. Graduates may be positioned to pursue entry-level positions as information security analysts, network security analysts or computer forensics analysts.

“Kaplan University’s information security courses give students the chance to enhance their skills with plenty of hands-on experience, using a series of virtual labs that allow the students to work with real-world scenarios,” says Jenelle Davis, associate director, Center for Information Assurance Studies at Kaplan’s School of Information Technology.

Dr. David DeHaven, dean of the School of Information Technology at Kaplan University, says the president’s executive order highlights the reality of cybersecurity concerns.

“IT is necessary for day-to-day business operations across industry verticals,” DeHaven says. “Therefore, the protection of IT data is mission critical to ensure customer information is not breached and national security is preserved.

“Obviously the growing threat to national information security, in both governmental and enterprise realms, highlights the need to produce an increasing number of highly skilled information security professionals,” DeHaven adds.

The Department of Labor’s O*Net website projects job growth within the information security sector will continue to rise by 20 to 28 percent through 2020. Median wages in 2011 were reported at $37.49 per hour, or $77,990 annually.

Landscape and Lawn Management

MCC has teamed with Michigan State University to offer coursework in the field of landscape and lawn management. This program combines horticulture and business courses to prepare students for careers in the landscape and nursery industries.

Upon completion of this 64-credit program, students receive an Associate of Applied Science degree from MCC as well as the Landscape and Lawn Management Certificate from MSU’s Institute of Agriculture Technology.

The MSU certificate is widely recognized by professionals in the landscape and turfgrass industries and is beneficial for students who seek to gain immediate employment in the industries, or to improve their credentials for professional development.

Career opportunities include landscape design, installation and construction; landscape management; nursery production and management; retail/wholesale garden center management; irrigation installation, design and maintenance; botanic gardens and arboreta; and others.

Aviation Maintenance

MCC offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in Aviation Maintenance in partnership with the School of Missionary Aviation Technology (SMAT) in Ionia.

This program includes a one-year Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) Mechanics program by SMAT, which is approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and provides training and preparation for the FAA written, oral and practical mechanics tests.

Students must be accepted into the SMAT program before starting this program at MCC.

Hotel Management

MCC offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Hotel Management with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Restaurant & Food Industry Management in partnership with Ferris State University. The program prepares students for management in all areas including sales and marketing, rooms division, food and beverage divisions, facilities operations and more. Both degrees are awarded by FSU.

Dietary and Food Service Management

MCC offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in Dietary and Food Service Management in partnership with Ferris State University. This program prepares students to become certified as a CDM (Certified Dietary Manager) and includes 150 hours of supervised clinical experience.

Graduates will be experts at managing dietary operations, and will work together with registered dietitians to provide quality nutritional care for clients in a variety of non-commercial settings. The degree is awarded by FSU.

The Department of Labor’s O*Net website recorded 1.76 million people were employed in the food service management sector in 2010, and projected job growth is estimated at up to nine percent through 2020. Median wages in 2011 were reported at $45.74 per hour, or $95,150 annually.

Restaurant and Food Industry Management

MCC offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in Restaurant & Food Industry Management in partnership with Ferris State University. This program prepares students for employment in the food service industry.  The degree is awarded by FSU.

Students learn the skills essential for a position as a general food service manager, restaurant and dining room manager, large volume kitchen manager, banquet and catering director, catering and event director or coordinator, or entrepreneur.

“Food service management is about more than serving food to the public,” Spohr says. “People with bold, entrepreneurial thinking take food service management to new levels with themed restaurants, development of new brands and other entrepreneurial activities.”

 Skilled Trades

The economic recession has forever changed the face of manufacturing.

However, Spohr says there is a common misconception that there is no future for employment in the industry.

“Manufacturing is not dead,” Spohr says. “Instead, it has been reborn into an exciting industry with new opportunities for growth. The challenge is finding workers with the right skills for the jobs that are available.”

The rapid evolution of advanced manufacturing techniques is one of the factors guiding expansion of MCC’s Greenville campus. Set to open in April, MCC’s new Bill Braman Family Center for Education in Greenville boasts technology labs for advanced manufacturing applications. Hydraulics, pneumatics, vacuum technology, electronics and electricity programming will offer students extensive hands-on learning opportunities.

As these labs prepare students to be work-ready with technology, adjacent classrooms will be used to teach the “soft skills” – personal qualities, habits and attitudes – to complement the technical expertise required in this new era of higher-tech manufacturing.

Ferrentino says locating MCC’s industrial tech labs in the manufacturing center of our region and equipping them with the most current technologies will give students the training they need to provide employers with a more highly skilled workforce.

“Michigan has a vibrant high-tech manufacturing sector requiring skilled labor unlike that of any time in manufacturing history,” Ferrentino says. “Today’s advanced manufacturing setting is comprised of sophisticated technology, resulting in tremendous productivity improvements. Successful workers are those with education related to the applications of new technologies in the manufacturing world with a fresh set of attributes: creative, highly skilled, flexible and entrepreneurial.

“Our vision is that our campuses become a destination for higher education,” Ferrentino says. “By bringing more opportunities to our sites, we are providing tremendous advantages for our students.”

In May 2012, ManpowerGroup, a world leader in employment services, released its seventh annual Talent Shortage Survey, and skilled trades topped the list of the most difficult jobs to fill in the U.S. According to the survey, 49 percent of U.S. employers are experiencing difficulty filling mission-critical positions within their organizations, compared to 34 percent of employers worldwide who are struggling with the same issue.

“Based on the many conversations we have with employers every day, ManpowerGroup recognizes the ongoing challenge business leaders face when looking for the right talent,” says Jonas Prising, ManpowerGroup president of the Americas in a recent press release. “This skills mismatch has major ramifications on employment and business success in the U.S and around the globe. Wise corporate leaders are doing something about it, and we increasingly see that they’re developing workforce strategies and partnerships with local educational institutions to train their next generation of workers.”

To meet this need, MCC is partnering with area businesses to offer an Associate of Applied Science degree in Skilled Trades.

This innovative program is designed for those who already hold a current journeyman card that is recognized by the State of Michigan or the U.S. Department of Labor.

“Earning a degree in skilled trades can turn a student’s natural enthusiasm for making things into a career that allows them to make a good living,” Spohr says. “Whether you want to be an electrician, an HVAC specialist, an aviation mechanic or pursue another trade, these careers have real impacts in the community.”

Visit MCC’s website at www.montcalm.edu for more information and links to these collaborative programs.  CF

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