High-demand careers, educational pathways highlighted at upcoming Macomb Community College event

Educators and enterprises will welcome students, parents, and all who are interested in learning about careers in manufacturing and technology to Macomb Community College for the Explore Careers in Manufacturing Auto STEAM Evening on Dec. 6.

To help students and parents explore future career paths in technology, advanced manufacturing and other high-demand industries, including electric vehicle development and robotics, the event will feature up to 40 companies with a local presence in a casual, “get to know you” atmosphere.

To offer a deeper dive than a simple meet-and-greet, each company will have an interactive manufacturing or engineering pod to offer immersive experiences to attendees, says Joe Petrosky, dean of engineering and advanced technology at Macomb Community College. “Ford, GM, FCA, American Axle, Magna, and other manufacturers offer this chance for students to really learn about careers in many areas, including autonomous vehicles,” he says.Joe Petrosky is dean of engineering and advanced technology at Macomb Community College.

Automotive supplier and developer Continental will bring its autonomous CUbE vehicle to demonstrate LIDAR, radar, and camera technology for future autonomous vehicles.

The Dec. 6 evening event is a companion to “Manufacturing Auto STEAM” daytime events on Dec. 5 and 6, when 2,000 Macomb County sixth- to twelfth-grade students will attend the event. Participating students, as well as any student from the greater Detroit region, can attend the evening event with parents to share what they may have learned.

Panel events will allow participants to learn first-hand what high-demand careers are available in the industry, and what educational programs, apprenticeships, internships, and work-based learning experiences are available to get future workforce talent to their goal.

“We will have discussions that include a variety of panelists from current participants in apprenticeship programs to students to CEOs of companies,” says Petrosky. “Expect to hear a variety of perspectives about careers from people who are hiring or who are currently in [educational] programs, or coming out of programs.”

For parents and students, this event is an opportunity expand knowledge on the breadth of tech-based, advanced manufacturing, and mobility-related careers that exist now, or will exist in future.The event is a follow-up to Manufacturing Day, the October daylong field trip that offered an inside look into participating local manufacturing companies. Here, students can show parents and other family members what they learned at Manufacturing Day.

Overall, the event offers the chance for eye opening exploration into unfamiliar future careers, and can serve as a valuable springboard to further understanding of the value of post-high school education paths toward in-demand careers in Michigan. Sometimes, parents are in the driver’s seat, but in other cases, the students are working to influence their parents, says Petrosky, who shares that panel discussions can be particularly illustrative for everyone.

“I love watching the panel discussions,” he says. “Sometimes, the parents are trying to influence, and you see them elbow their kids to highlight important points. Sometimes you see it the other way around. The students is giving the parent the elbow as if to say ‘this is the path I want to pursue.’”

Hands-on exploration is a must-experience part of the Explore Careers in Manufacturing Auto STEAM Evening event.

As we move to a climate where the most valuable workforce is the one committed to lifelong learning, Petrosky underscores the flowing nature of education as circumstances and industries change. To that end, universities will also be present at the event, including Wayne State and Ferris State.

“Career pathways are so permeable now,” he says. “If you want to continue on and get a full associate degree, or bachelor’s degree, those paths are there, but weren’t 20 years ago. Many parents don’t know that.”

The Explore Careers in Manufacturing, Auto, STEAM Evening will be held Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018, at Macomb Community College South Campus at the Sports & Expo Center, Warren. Hours are 5:30 p.m.-8 p.m. and food will be served, and a door prize drawing will feature a drone giveaway. Register by calling 586-445-7117.

Photos courtesy of Macomb Community College.
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