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Rep. Stevens Tours Manufacturing & Engineering Center

March 30, 2021

Schoolcraft College’s Manufacturing & Engineering Center (MEC), the College’s all-new home for occupational programs, welcomed Rep. Haley Stevens on Monday, March 29, for a tour of the facility. MEC serves a vital role, training workers for a wide variety of manufacturing and industry positions.

Rep. Haley Stevens touring facility“I’m completely blown away,” said Stevens, who represents Michigan’s 11th District in the U.S. House of Representatives. This district includes parts of Wayne and Oakland counties. “You have faculty who are on the cutting edge of their skill and profession, working with our employers, working with the student population and helping us continue to innovate the future right here in Southeast Michigan and Livonia.”

“We’re incredibly proud of Schoolcraft for being not only a statewide leader but a national leader.”

The new 48,000 square-foot facility, strategically located near Livonia’s industrial corridor, more than doubles the previous space on the main campus and houses programs in:

  • Biomedical Engineering Technology
  • Computer Aided Design (CAD)
  • Engineering Technology
  • Electronics
  • Manufacturing Technology/CNC (Computer Numerical Control)
  • Mechatronics
  • Metallurgy and Materials Science
  • Plastic Technology
  • Welding

The MEC also houses a 3D printing lab and robotic lab, while greatly increasing hands-on space for welding, manufacturing, plastics technology and material science. Courses in Engineering, Quality Management and Occupational Safety & Health also will be offered at the MEC.

“This is going to serve as a catalyst and driver for training our workforce to go right into the jobs that are available,” Stevens said. “As we’ve lived through the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve certainly seen the role our industrial base has provided and played and getting us through, from sourcing the PPE (personal protection equipment) to making the vaccine to keeping people on the road safely.”

“What you have here is a state-of-the-art facility that’s usable, accessible and ready for some serious business.”

Schoolcraft College, MEC fill a vital need

Trained and certified individuals in the professional trades are urgently needed, according to data from SEMCOG, the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments. Schoolcraft College offers programs in many of the in-demand fields to help close the local and nationwide skills gap.

Predictions of labor force changes 2015 – 2045 include:

  • 67% increase in workers age 65 and over
  • 29% increase in professional and technical services opportunities
  • 28% increase in healthcare services jobs
  • 11% increase in leisure and hospitality jobs

Consistent with the college’s vision, Schoolcraft prepares today to meet 21st century challenges by being the provider of choice for the future labor force in Southeast Michigan.

Rep. Haley Stevens touring facilitySchoolcraft College has always produced high-quality skilled-trades workers. With the all-new Manufacturing and Engineering Center (MEC) strategically located near Livonia’s industrial corridor, graduates can practically walk from classroom to a new place of employment.

The Livonia Industrial Corridor, which is defined as the business zone between I-96 and Plymouth Road, through the city from Inkster Road to Eckles Road, is home to some 700 manufacturing, industrial, warehouse, shipping and tooling operations.

Schoolcraft College faculty members combine academic excellence with a wealth of hands-on, real-world experience as well as key business connections. This is especially true in the occupational programs, where instructors often are able to line up students with jobs while they are finishing their coursework.

“We were basically maxed out in terms of space at our previous location,” said Dr. Robert Leadley, Dean of Occupational Programs & Economic Development. “The additional classrooms and lab space will allow us to better serve our students and meet the needs of our industry partners.”

MEC was designed to have complementary programs near each other

While many programs saw a substantial increase in lab and classroom space, the way the space was configured was a key consideration as well.

“We wanted to take full advantage of the clean slate the new space offered,” Leadley said. “We were strategic in terms of the proximity of each program. For example, we have Metallurgy and Materials Science next to Welding because that discipline is something welding students need to learn.

“In many cases, the layout of the labs and classrooms for the various programs in MEC mirrors how professionals in those disciplines would interact and collaborate in an industrial or manufacturing facility.”

The MEC is less than a 10-minute drive from the main campus and is at 13001 Merriman Road, at the corner of Merriman and Glendale. The location should further strengthen industry partnerships as well as expand Schoolcraft College’s ability to accommodate apprenticeships, dual enrollment and workforce development courses.

“The new Manufacturing & Engineering Center is a great win-win for Schoolcraft College students and our community,” Leadley said. “We’ll be able to deliver more highly trained graduates to the workforce and also help with training and workforce development for area businesses.”

Learn more information about all of Schoolcraft College’s Manufacturing and Technology programs.

You can go on a virtual tour of the MEC. (Tour starts at about the 8:10 mark.)