ANN ARBOR — Washtenaw Community College has been awarded a $2.9 million grant from the United States Department of Labor through its Trade Adjustment Assistance for Community Colleges Career Training program.

The grant will fund an initiative to develop new IT employees in Michigan called Ignite Michigan.

Partnering with Ann Arbor Spark and other workforce development partners, WCC will address the strong demand for skilled information technology professionals. Academic programs will be designed in two career areas specifically identified as high demand by regional employers: software development for Java and network and systems administration in Microsoft and Linux/Unix platforms.

The programs will be designed to meet the needs of the adult, non-traditional learner and will combine online and classroom instruction approaches.

“Developing the skills of our regional workforce is an economic imperative,” said Paul Krutko, president and CEO of Ann Arbor Spark. “Every company that works with Ann Arbor Spark cites the ability to hire skilled talent as a key consideration when choosing a place to grow. The grant awarded to WCC ensures that the skills employers need are fostered in this region, ultimately helping individuals here and attracting growing businesses.”

Ann Arbor Spark and Washtenaw Community College have a successful history of working together prior to the grant announcement.

Said Michelle Mueller, assistant vice president of economic development, community and corporate alliances at Washtenaw Community College: “We look forward to continuing our collaborative relationship with Spark in the development of workforce talent in Washtenaw County.”


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