West Shore Community College President Scott Ward was a panelist on a recent statewide symposium to discuss achieving Michigan’s economic and education goals with a focus on community college collaboration and the electric vehicle jobs academy. This work is in conjunction with State of Michigan efforts to catalog electric vehicle and mobility needs and scale postsecondary certification and educational programs statewide. Ward was asked to serve as a panelist with representatives from automotive manufacturers, mobility industries and several state agencies due to his work with and support of the Michigan Education Programs in Collaboration (MiEPiC) consortium. The symposium was attended by over 150 people.
“As MiEPiC has grown, the need for a new organizational structure became apparent and I was asked to help in the transition,” stated Ward. “The work of the consortium has developed beyond several community colleges joining forces on certain degree programs to the State of Michigan asking MiEPiC to be the delivery platform for the Michigan Electric Vehicle Job Academy and other state initiatives. The electric vehicle academy is just one of the opportunities in the transformation of MiEPiC and will bring additional partners, including employers and associations, together to reduce duplication of efforts and provide cost-efficient education and training.”
MiEPiC is a business model that allows colleges to respond to employer needs in a rapid, cost-efficient way. The consortium is structured to host programs for any industry and supports short-term certificate programs, degree programs, and continuing education. This collaborative effort allows partner colleges to meet the workforce needs in their respective regions in a viable way. Often the ability to offer a financially viable program in areas of professional specialties is not feasible for a single college. The model serves well in areas of professional specialty where enrollment will be limited for any one college and costs to deliver the program are consistently high.
“My advocacy for the current collaborative efforts has given me an opportunity to support the MiEPiC transition from community college centric to cross-sector collaboration,” Ward said. “Throughout Michigan we need to be more responsive to low-volume, high-need, intermittent, and rapid response training. I am excited to see how this transition will help meet the economic and workforce development goals of the State and how I can leverage this change for WSCC, our students, and our local business and industry.”
For more information on collaborative programs, visit mcca.org.