The Michigan Advanced Technician Training program (MAT2) is an innovative and industry-driven approach to education which offers companies competent employees, young adults with a financially viable education and career pathway, and Michigan a talent pipeline of skilled workers. This program is designed lead the way in defining a new national model for apprenticeship training, as the current skills gap is not unique to Michigan. Manufacturing and technology sectors across the country are experiencing a shortage of skilled employees. MAT2 is dedicated to fulfilling industry needs, and to this end, industry partners are given a leading role and work with program management to assist in the development of new programs and curricula for their future employees. In 2014, MAT2 won Automation Alley’s “Educational Program of the Year” Award, as well as the German American Chamber of Commerce’s MERLIN Award for Excellence in Vocational Training.
Benchmarked on the German Dual Education System, MAT2 is an educational model developed in conjunction with global technology leaders, and will combine theory, practice, and work to train a globally competitive workforce. Graduates will meet international, industry-wide standards and will represent a new generation of talent for Michigan companies.
The program was also created to fulfill students’ needs, in that it provides a completely supported education, in which industry partners are able to invest in students and see them grow from the ground up. Students are able to develop their career and education, along with achieving personal growth.
The project is backed by the State of Michigan, who continues to support the program and its vision for competency-based education reform. The current Mechatronics program was joined by two new programs in 2014, those being Information Technology and Design and Visualization (Product Development). MAT² added a fourth program in 2015, Computer Numeric Control (CNC), and plans to expand yearly to include more opportunities for students and more industries.
orbitak was the project manager for MAT2 and one of the project’s founders. It worked in conjunction with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation to ensure continued quality and efficiency of the program, and to strategically expand the program portfolio each year. orbitak’s specialization in education, and specifically in the German educational model, allowed us to provide unique support and direction for the project, which is subject to continuous improvements in order to maximize its benefit for all partners.
Having completed the development of the three MAT² programs that orbitak had direct responsibility for, orbitak successfully transitioned management of the programs to the Workforce Development Agency. The Workforce Development Agency will continue to provide the quality support and oversight for the program that industry members have come to expect over the past few years. MAT² will continue to grow according to industry needs, and remains a crucial program for covering the current skills gap in manufacturing and technology apprenticeship training.