Friday, March 12, 2004
Training Equips Workers for Facility Modernization
Governor Jennifer M. Granholm announced today that 1,048 employees of Ford Motor Company's Rouge Manufacturing Facility in Dearborn will benefit from $1.35 million in Economic Development Job Training (EDJT) grants provided by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC). The funding will enable workers to receive technical training to increase their skills and enhance Ford's competitive advantage in a world market.
"Manufacturing jobs are the lifeblood of our economy, and we're committed to keeping Michigan workers among the world's very best," Granholm said. "The job training we are providing Ford's Rouge workers will help them to master the latest in high-tech production equipment, as well as become trained in lean manufacturing. The overall effect will be to make the Rouge facility more productive, more efficient, and better equipped to take on competition from around the world."
Henry Ford Community College has been chosen by Ford to provide the training in computer-aided design, programmable logic controls, software programming, new equipment operation, and other key areas. The $1.35 million is part of an overall commitment of $3.8 million the MEDC made to Ford to encourage a thorough modernization of the company's oldest production facility still in operation. Under the requirements of the job training program, Ford must provide a 25 percent match for training existing workers.
"Michigan's strong workforce is the reason why many companies chose Michigan to locate and expand," said MEDC President and CEO Don Jakeway. "These training funds will help ensure that Ford Motor Company will have the skilled employees they need to work in one of the most technologically advanced production facilities in the world."
Since 1994, more than $260 million in Economic Development Job Training grants have helped more than half a million Michigan workers improve their skills and enhance the competitiveness of the companies they work for.
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation, a partnership between the state and local communities, promotes smart economic growth by developing strategies and providing services to create and retain good jobs and a high quality of life.