CHARLEVOIX, Mich. — Advanced Clean Air Technologies Global (ACAT Global), manufacturer of lightweight and efficient catalytic converter substrates, is joining a partnership of regional educators, manufacturers and representatives of state veterans and apprenticeship groups to train a new generation of workers for careers in advanced manufacturing technology.
The partners — Charlevoix Public Schools, Baker College of Cadillac, Charlevoix-Emmet Intermediate School District (Char-Em ISD) and ACAT Global — plan to launch a computer numerical control (CNC) program this fall. The “CNC Center for Excellence” located in the Charlevoix High School machine laboratory would include certificate and associate degree options, with some students possibly funded through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs GI Bill.
The new CNC program addresses a critical issue for Michigan’s workforce by providing education for workers in the advanced manufacturing technology field, supplying skilled labor for the numerous manufacturing companies located in the state, with specific plans to target veterans.
“Veterans are a tremendous resource for employers, and I feel we can address the shortage of skilled CNC machinists by creating a program that brings together veterans retraining programs, educators and industry,” said Joseph A. Moch, president and CEO of ACAT Global and Oliver Racing Parts, another company supporting the new CNC program. “We need to create a new image of 21st century manufacturing and encourage more people to consider advanced manufacturing, CNC and CAD/CAM engineering as a career.”
“Manufacturing jobs are not the repetitive-assembly jobs of the past,” said Mark Lagerwey, dean of business and technology at Baker College of Cadillac. “From CNC operators to engineers, today’s manufacturing jobs require technical communication and problem-solving skills, and industry and education must work together to prepare both our current and future workforce.”
Baker College of Cadillac, Mich. currently offers a one-year CNC operator certificate program and is adding a two-year associate degree in advanced manufacturing technology this fall. Baker College is looking to bring this curriculum to Charlevoix High School, renting its lab and providing an instructor. Baker College and Char-Em ISD are already collaborating extensively through an Early College Program that dual enrolls high school students in Baker College courses. ACAT Global, Aria Group, Inc., Oliver Racing Parts and other companies will connect students to the manufacturing community.
“We’re fortunate that Charlevoix High School has a state-of-the-art laboratory already in place, and our relationship with the school district is well established,” said Kelly Smith, Baker College of Cadillac president. “We fully support the focus on bringing veterans into the program, and we appreciate the participation of the Veterans' Services Division and the Department of Labor apprenticeship program. Baker College is well-versed in administering the array of veterans’ funding programs for students at our campuses throughout Michigan.”
In addition to Baker's Cadillac campus, Baker College of Flint also offers CNC operator and advanced manufacturing technology programs. To offer these programs in Charlevoix, Baker is currently seeking approvals from the Higher Learning Commission and the U.S. Department of Education.
ACAT Global is also involved with educational programs at California Polytechnic University San Luis Obispo, the University of California at Davis, and the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, providing real-world experience for students in engineering and metallurgy.
About ACAT Global
ACAT Global LLC of Charlevoix, Mich., utilizes patented and proprietary technology and processes to manufacture the world’s lightest, smallest and most effective metallic catalytic converter substrates. The substrates, which use up to 30 percent less raw materials than the competition, improve efficiency while reducing pollutants emitted by internal combustion engines, fuel cells or any power source that creates emissions (from motorcycles to industrial facilities, such as power plants and oil refineries). ACAT Global strives to help clients meet their emissions reduction goals by providing solutions that comply with North American (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board) and worldwide emissions policies. For more information, visit www.acatglobal.com.