Deadline is today to sign up for free manufacturing fundamentals class

Published 10:26 am Friday, July 31, 2009

BENTON HARBOR – Michigan Works! is accepting applications for a new, four-week manufacturing fundamentals class that starts Sept. 21.

The class is designed to prepare jobseekers for a variety of entry-level careers in the manufacturing industry and will teach blueprint reading, machine maintenance, mechanical math, workplace safety and other related skills.

The class will run Monday through Friday from 8:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Lake Michigan College M-TEC campus (400 Klock Road) in Benton Harbor.

Applicants must be at least 18 years of age and complete an application in-person at any tri-county Michigan Works! office prior to July 31.

Those eligible must pass the ninth grade level in reading and math tests, but are not required to have a high school diploma.

“Despite the current unemployment conditions, the manufacturing industry isn’t going away,” said Michigan Works! Executive Director Todd Gustafson.

“When jobs return, manufacturing employees will need to have a more advanced skill set than ever to keep up with changes in technology and be competitive in their field. This training program is part of a broader plan to develop and maintain that skilled workforce.”

Even with manufacturing at an economic low, tri-county labor market data indicate a continuing need for skilled workers within the industry.

Michigan Works! statistics project that while manufacturing employment is projected to decline 13 percent by 2016, with normal churn and a retiring workforce, the need for new and replacement workers is equivalent to a 9-percent growth.

Upon completion of the class, graduates will earn a Manufacturing Fundamentals Certificate and have the opportunity to qualify for a National Career Readiness Certificate.

For more information about the manufacturing fundamentals program, individuals may call 1-800-533-5800 and speak with Jeremy (x1140) or Mike (x1173). Michigan Works! is a non-profit, workforce development organization providing the skilled workforce necessary to meet the needs of employers with locations in Benton Harbor, Buchanan, Dowagiac, Niles, Paw Paw and South Haven. For more information, call 1-800-533-5800 or visit