Strategic Initiative · Career-Tech and Engineering Support
As the nation’s population ages and retires, there is a growing demand in the workforce for skilled professionals in career-technical fields. Northern is one of only three Michigan universities to also serve a community college function, offering vocational diplomas, certificates and associate degrees since 1972. In 2020, Northern received capital outlay approval from the State of Michigan to support state-of-the-art career-tech and engineering programs. This will provide the University an opportunity to bring its CTE programs to the next-generation level.
This will be a vibrant, high-tech teaching facility that features a manufacturing design center and transformative working laboratories. The labs will be flexible for skilled trades learning, as well as for business-industry product and equipment testing and training. There will also be production development resources for Invent@NMU.
How this will add to NMU’s prestige and distinction:
The venue and academic programs will use next-generation equipment and technology, such as virtual reality training gear and simulations to prepare the best industrial, engineering and servicerelated workforce to meet the Upper Peninsula and State of Michigan high-demand talent needs in these career fields. There will be unique campus-community collaborations opportunities.
Thinking even bigger:
Central to this initiative is the development of a mechanism for hyper-changeable space so that programs could be offered in a series format. For example, an auto series with degree programs for general auto technicians (general mechanics) offered for three years; then use the same space to offer an auto body technicians program for three years; then diesel technicians (large motors) programs for three years – all in the same space. The rotation would begin again.