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Kirtland. Touring the Trades.

At Kirtland, we’re all about providing the relevant education and training and preparing our students for success.  This Week @ Kirtland, we’ve been busy leading some pretty important people on tours of Kirtland’s Gaylord M-TEC, focusing in large part on the great skilled trades training opportunities we provide for students throughout northern Michigan.

Congressman Dan Benishek spend time with the Kirtland Gaylord M-TEC faculty and staff to learn more about the extensive skilled trades training available at Kirtland

Congressman Dan Benishek spend time with the Kirtland Gaylord M-TEC faculty and staff to learn more about the extensive skilled trades training available at Kirtland

On Thursday, Kirtland’s Gaylord M-TEC hosted two separate tours – one for Congressman Dan Benishek and another for Otsego County Administrator John Burt and the Otsego County Board of Commissioners.  The primary focus for both tours was to raise awareness of the wide variety of high demand training and educational opportunities available within the facility – training which is vital for strengthening our work forces and improving local economies.

Recent statistics indicate there are about 10,000 unfilled skilled trades jobs in Michigan alone.  Congressman Benishek has an interest in skilled trades and the importance of training people to fill Michigan’s growing skilled trades gap so he contacted the Gaylord M-TEC to get a firsthand look at the training we provide.  As a trained medical professional, Benishek was intrigued by our Cardiac Sonography program.  He is very familiar with diagnostic sonography and not at all surprised to hear how many of our students are now working, both in Michigan and across the country.  And, it was pretty obvious Congressman Benishek felt right at home further down the M-TEC hall too!  He jumped right in and got hands on as he toured the Electrical, HVAC, Mechatronics and Welding program labs with instructors Alan Mabarak and Mark McCully.

Getting a first-hand look at Kirtland's training labs

Getting a first-hand look at Kirtland’s training labs

Among the Otsego County contingent, the tour served several purposes:  raising awareness of the programs and training opportunities available at Kirtland, how we prepare workers to fill the gap in the skilled trades workforce, and touring various locations throughout Otsego County which receive voter approved millage support to help fund their operations and provide services to the community.

This group was impressed to hear that our students often attain employment while still completing their education and training.  The Commissioners were especially interested to learn the Kirtland Gaylord M-TEC is regularly contacted by regional skilled trades employers and helps to connect them with students who have the training and skills needed to fill their vacant positions.  In fact, Kirtland faculty has been contacted by five such employers this week alone!

Otsego County Commissioners learn how Kirtland is strengthening local workforces

Otsego County Commissioners learn how Kirtland is strengthening local workforces

And, because knowledge is power, we were especially excited to empower some young minds from just across the road.  On Monday and Tuesday, 150 Gaylord High School freshman, sophomores and juniors toured the facility to learn about college options, scholarships, financial aid and more.  A big Thank You Shout Out to teachers Sheryl Florian and Lori Smith, who brought their Business and Computers Technology students, and to Rick Bigby and his marketing class.

To learn more about the programs, advising, testing, veteran services, financial aid and other resources available to students, contact 989-275-5000, extension 284, or visit us online.  And, as always, you are invited to drop in and check us out at www.kirtland.edu, follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/kirtlandcc, and like us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/kirtlandcc.

Kirtland. Be the future.