Workforce Training

Keeping a team’s skills ahead of the pace of the global marketplace is tough. Our mission is to keep your workforce at the front of the pack. Whether it’s starting with a gap analysis or developing a tailored training course, let us help you address your training needs and understand what is available to you.

Career Academies and Certificate Programs
Distinctive offerings at the region's community colleges offer workers a leg up in their industry from automotive to welding to wind turbine technicians.  Intense and extensive industry-level hands-on training prepares workers to excel in their chosen fields such as mechatronics.  Check each school for availability or contact us to discuss developing specific training.

Michigan Works!
Michigan Works! connects people who need jobs with companies who need to fill jobs throughout the state. Funded by state and federal governments through the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor, and Economic Growth, Michigan Works! is a free service to both employers and job seekers. Services include screening and hiring services, on-the-job training funds, Worker Opportunity Tax Credits and ongoing training strategies. Connect with our regional Michigan Works! office via the links below.

Continuous Improvement Users Group
Continuous Improvement Users Group is a collaboration of Southwest Michigan companies dedicated to sharing best practices and seeking ideas to improve efficiency and productivity.  Continuous Improvement, Total Production Management, Six Sigma and other lean practitioners network on a monthly basis either through tours of best practice or topical discussions. To apply for participation in this group of industry experts, please contact Southwest Michigan First.

Advanced Manufacturing Career Consortium
The Advanced Manufacturing Career Consortium was launched in 2011 as a collaboration between Southwest Michigan First, Kalamazoo Valley Community College, Glen Oaks Community College, Michigan Works!, the Kalamazoo Education Service Agency and 26 area manufacturers. The purpose of the consortium is to address the challenges companies are experiencing in finding qualified candidates to fill existing job openings, and to develop a long-term strategy to address future needs. The consortium has developed a three-pronged strategy which includes Training, Screening and Recruitment/Marketing to ready our region's workforce for your needs.

Education for Employment
Education for Employment programs offer award-winning career and technical education centers through the regional educational service agencies to 10th-12th grade students. Programs reflect “real world” applications and maintain the rigorous requirements of the Michigan Merit Curriculum as well as state, national, and industry technical standards and requirements.

Regional Intermediate School Districts
In Michigan, and Intermediate School District (ISD) is a governmental agency organized at the county or multi-county level that partners and assists a local school district in providing programs and services. The following ISDs are key partners in workforce development in Southwest Michigan Region:

Western Michigan University’s Center for Advanced Vehicle Design
The Center for Advanced Vehicle Design is an integrated consortium that exists between the university and industry using applied research and computer simulation to make changes to vehicle design and implement repair/replacement issues.