Keep Things Running Smoothly
Are you one of those people who likes to know how things work?
|If so, OCC’s newly retooled Multi- Skilled
Manufacturing Technology (MSMT) Program may be just what you’ve been
looking for. And, when you complete the1014 coursework, lab sessions,
cooperative internship program and capstone course, you’ll be prepared
for immediate employment as a manufacturing technician, working to
maintain, troubleshoot and diagnose problems with systems and machines.
You can choose to concentrate in the area of manufacturing
technology that interests you the most:
Automation – emphasizes fluid power systems and their controlling devices
Electrical – includes electrical systems, machines and controlling devices
Manufacturing Processes – covers numerical control machining; welding and fabrication processes; programmable controls and computer-aided design
Multi-Skill – offers a variety of advanced courses from which a student may choose
Robotics – provides in-depth training in robotics technology and programming
Who takes Multi-Skilled Manufacturing Technology classes?
What kinds of people come to OCC for the MSMT program? Program Coordinator Michael Clancy says it attracts a wide variety of students ranging from recent high school graduates to adults.
Many students come to OCC’s program after completing the Walter P. Chrysler Manufacturing Technology Academy, offered at the four Oakland Schools Technical Centers. But the Academy isn’t the only ticket into OCC’s MSMT program. Students can enter the program without any prior manufacturing work experience, says Clancy. "We offer foundation as well as advanced courses. And once they’ve finished at OCC, they’re ready to go to a manufacturing business and be a troubleshooter.
Walter P. Chrysler Manufacturing Technology Academy
Many students come to OCC’s Multi-Skilled Manufacturing Technology program through Oakland Schools and the Walter P. Chrysler Manufacturing Technology Academy, now in its fourth year. The Academy is sponsored by DaimlerChrysler AG, Oakland Schools Intermediate District, OCC and the County’s four Oakland Technical Centers.
The Academy is open to high school students from any of the County’s 28 school districts. Students must show a commitment to doing the work necessary to complete the series of complex technological units, OCC’s MSMT Program Coordinator Michael Clancy explains, but there is no admission test or grade point average required.
Students enrolled in the Academy attend 11th and 12th grade classes for half of their school day, and spend the other half at one of the four Oakland Technical Centers gaining theoretical knowledge and hands-on experience in such areas as hydraulics, manufacturing processes, quality assurance, electrical systems and computer-controlled machines. Once they complete the series of skill programs, they can begin to specialize, or remain in the multi-skills program. When they have successfully completed the high school program, students are automatically accepted to OCC for the second two years of course work.
From there you can progress up the line," he says, becoming a senior tech, a maintenance technician or a process technician who maintains, diagnoses and troubleshoots systems and machinery.
Your education doesn’t have to stop with that OCC associate degree, either. Clancy explains that the college has "basic letters of agreement with 14 colleges and universities in Michigan saying that they will accept OCC graduates into degree programs such as manufacturing technology, engineering technology or general studies."
Philip Trimble, 21, of Pontiac, was the first student to complete studies in the four-year-old Walter P. Chrysler Manufacturing Academy. The next step was two years at OCC, where he concentrated his studies in the MSMT multi-skilled technology track. Within weeks of finishing at OCC, he was on the job at Urgent Plastic Services in Rochester Hills. Trimble says his educational decision was a good one. Feeling that the current employment market was likely to remain a little tighter than usual, the Pontiac Northern High School grad decided to pursue the multi-skill technology track: "I wanted to be open to different areas." At Urgent, he’ll be learning operations in every department from operating machinery to working with computers. One of the best benefits Trimble sees in attending the Academy for two years, then OCC for another two is that "you can go out there (to work) and see what you really want to do, rather than going four years in a specific area and finding out you don’t like it."
A growing need for manufacturing techs
"In our region, there is a chronic shortage of manufacturing techs, and it’s getting worse," Clancy says. He estimates that Southeast Michigan currently needs another 3,000-4,000 of these skilled workers, who typically earn between $32,000 and $50,000 annually according to U.S. Department of Labor statistics. "It’s hard to find someone who has actual knowledge and experience of how to keep things working," he says, especially if you’re not a giant industry with the ability to hire specialists in every area. Clancy, who previously ran a Kelsey-Hayes plant, says: "We needed to hire people who could do everything...and we just couldn’t find them."