Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer today visited Kellogg Community College to learn firsthand how College officials and area businesses and organizations are working together to train workers to fill current and future job shortages.

Whitmer spent an hour at KCC's Regional Manufacturing Technology Center, a campus designed for students who intend to pursue careers in the skilled and industrial trades. During a tour of the facility, Whitmer met numerous KCC students and learned how the programs at KCC are creating opportunities for them to pursue lucrative careers in robotics, manufacturing, welding, heating and cooling and electricity.

"We are delighted that Governor Whitmer asked to see our RMTC, which is at the heart of economic development and workforce training in this region," said KCC President Mark O'Connell. "We are grateful that the Governor encourages the kind of creativity and collaboration that we strive for and enjoy at KCC, where we educate students in all stages of life - including teens still in high school - while helping them gain new skills and find good jobs."

During the visit, Whitmer met with a small group of KCC officials and representatives from a few of the College's partners, including Michigan Works! Southwest, Stewart Industries, Battle Creek Unlimited, Rosler Metal Finishing, Advanced Special Tools and United Way of the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Region. During that meeting, educators and employer representatives described how their partnerships have enabled businesses to increase production while helping the community close skills gaps.

The RMTC opened in January 1990 to serve the specific educational needs of manufacturers and skilled trades companies. After 29 years, the RMTC - which houses KCC's Industrial Trades and Workforce Solutions departments - continues to meet employee training needs for employers across the region.

RMTC training courses are offered at convenient times, including on a walk-in basis, which enables KCC to provide hands-on, skills-based training quickly and efficiently while working around employers' production and service schedules. Additionally, many courses are customized for companies with precise training and certification requirements.

The center, 405 Hill Brady Road in Battle Creek's Fort Custer Industrial Park, is currently undergoing renovations that are expected to be complete by May. The upgrades are occurring thanks to $4.3 million in funds, including $2.15 million from the State of Michigan's capital outlay program, $1.07 million from the Battle Creek Tax Increment Finance Authority, $830,000 from KCC's voter-approved capital millage and $250,000 from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.