KCC adds $2.1 million in new equipment to enhance student training

The Regional Manufacturing Technology Center

A year after receiving $2.1 million to purchase equipment to facilitate and enhance its workforce training programs, Kellogg Community College has incorporated dozens of major, state-of-the-art equipment additions into student health, law enforcement and manufacturing programs at the College.

Funding for the new equipment was announced last spring and funneled to KCC through the Community College Skilled Trades Equipment Program (CCSTEP), a product of a partnership between the state government and community colleges. CCSTEP resources were combined with matching grants to fund the new equipment with the goal of making student and worker training in the communities KCC serves quicker and more comprehensive and efficient.

“The latest new equipment additions here at Kellogg Community College solidify our place on the cutting edge of training programs for the in-demand career fields that our College has become known for, and reinforce KCC’s leadership role in the health care, manufacturing and law enforcement fields in our community,” said KCC President Mark O’Connell. “Training opportunities like these show why KCC has become a destination not only for individuals training for a new career in these fields, but for employers looking to hire our graduates.”

New training equipment acquired and implemented into instruction at KCC over the past year through CCSTEP funds includes:

  • Adult, pediatric, infant and birthing simulators for the Nursing Program
  • A simulator and ventilator for the EMT and Paramedic programs
  • An X-ray machine for the Radiography Program
  • Several Dental Hygiene Clinic units – including new chairs, lighting and other equipment – for the Dental Hygiene Program
  • A police-rated vehicle equipped with emergency equipment; a skid-car attachment; and a precision driving simulator for the Law Enforcement/Police Academy Program
  • Technical equipment and a wiring trainer for the Industrial Electricity/Electronics Program
  • Several robots, technical trainers and industrial equipment for the Industrial Trades, workforce training and apprenticeship programs

All of the equipment gives students more complete real-world experiences that go beyond the classroom to enhance their skills and understanding. Patient simulators in the Nursing labs give students the opportunity to deliver physical manikin babies from life-sized manikin mothers that breathe and talk; the skid car vehicle attachment lets Police Academy cadets experience and learn how to respond to high-speed chase scenarios at safe, slow speeds; and the real-world industrial trades equipment lets manufacturing students gain experience on campus using the actual equipment they’ll be using in the workplace.

“The additions made possible through state and matching CCSTEP funds have enabled KCC to offer student training opportunities that go beyond traditional classroom instruction,” said Jan Karazim, dean of Workforce Development at KCC. “By having access to additional resources that expand our students’ experiences to include more of what they’ll see in on-the-job scenarios, KCC graduates will be better prepared and more in demand for positions in their respective career fields.”

The new CCSTEP-funded equipment has been acquired and installed over the course of the past year on KCC’s North Avenue campus in Battle Creek, the College’s Regional Manufacturing Center in Battle Creek’s Fort Custer Industrial Park and at the Branch Area Career Center in Coldwater, where KCC offers training in Industrial Electricity/Electronics, Machining Technology, Maintenance and Robotics. Much of the equipment has been in use since the Summer or Fall 2015 semesters; other equipment has been incorporated into instruction this semester as KCC employees have completed the necessary training required to operate and instruct students in using the equipment.

Organizations contributing toward the matching funds for the KCC grant include the Branch County Intermediate School District, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Michigan Workforce Development Agency, Battle Creek Unlimited, Michigan Works! and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

The KCC grant includes $2,107,647 in state funding, $344,414 in partner contributions and $182,498 in KCC institutional funds.

“KCC is always pleased to be able to say our training is second to none when it comes to workforce training and development in the state of Michigan, and the latest new additions to our health, manufacturing and law enforcement programs give us an opportunity to say it again,” O’Connell said. “The funds allocated to support KCC and the communities it serves are a testament to the confidence the state, industry and our local partners here in Barry, Branch and Calhoun counties have when it comes to KCC’s ability to produce high-quality graduates ready for careers that move the state of Michigan forward.”

Overall, CCSTEP is providing $50 million in state funding to 18 community colleges, which are securing or providing another $21.5 million in matching funds. For more information about new equipment purchased through CCSTEP funds for KCC, click here.

For more news about Kellogg Community College, view our latest press releases online at https://daily.kellogg.edu/category/news-releases.