Webinar series aims to close region's skills gap

TRAVERSE CITY — Seeking to close the skills gap in northern Michigan, three webinars aimed at entrepreneurs, employers and employees in a range of business sectors are planned for early fall.

Blue economy jobs, heavy highway construction training and funding for workforce training will each be explored in a free monthly webinar series hosted by Northwestern Michigan College and Traverse Connect. Registration for each hour-long session is now open.

In 2021, a Traverse Connect study revealed a skills gap is hindering the region’s economic growth. The webinar series is part of a comprehensive community approach to fill that gap.

“Since the release of the 2021 Skills Gap Study report, NMC has enthusiastically responded to the needs of our business community,” said Warren Call, president and CEO of Traverse Connect. “This fall webinar series will offer a wide range of individuals — from entrepreneurs to workers in the construction industry — actionable and timely information to make a difference in our regional economy.”

“As a community college, NMC always tries to stay attuned to community needs,” said Jason Slade, vice president for strategic initiatives. “Working with Traverse Connect insures that our response is aimed where it's most needed.”

The upcoming programs also align with goals in NMC’s strategic plan, including future-focused education and institutional distinction.

Thursday, September 8, noon: Blue Economy: Registration Link
Northern Michigan, capitalizing on its geographic location and entrepreneurial ecosystem, is poised to become a global leader for freshwater business development and research. Learn more about the opportunities and industries in place and potential development.

  • Who should attend: Civil, environmental, mechanical, and geotechnical engineering businesses. construction businesses; startups and entrepreneurs; educators
  • More: Attend the Lakebed 2030 Mapping the Great Lakes conference, to be held Sept. 28-30 at NMC’s Hagerty Center.

Thursday, October 13, noon: Heavy Highway Construction training: Registration Link
The Traverse Connect study identified creation of microcredentials— or short-term, job-specific training — as one way to close the skills gap. NMC’s new 12-week training program to meet the demand for heavy highway construction workers is one example. Launching in January, the intensive Heavy Highway Construction Training Program will help develop the workforce needed to help modernize, upgrade, and build new structures, bridges, and roads.

  • Who should attend: Construction businesses, transportation businesses, job seekers

Thursday, November 10, noon: Funding workforce development: Registration Link
Since 2008, more than 1,000 new jobs have been created in the region through workforce training NMC has provided to dozens of regional companies. That’s thanks to the New Jobs Training Act, legislation that allows companies to divert payroll taxes into a fund to train new hires. NMC administers the program and is also a training provider. In this webinar, find out more about the Act and other state and local funding available to help businesses pay for workforce development and training.

  • Who should attend: Business owners, human resources professionals, job seekers


Release Date: August 15, 2022

For More Information:

Ed Bailey
The Marine Center at NMC
(231) 995-1215

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