New Graduate Program Trains Engineers for Green Auto Technology

The Michigan Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth (DELEG) has joined with Michigan Technological University and Wayne State University to launch a new program of graduate courses for engineers wishing to train in hybrid and battery technology.

The new program, named the Michigan Academy for Green Mobility (MGAM), prepares new engineers for the jobs of the future in renewable energy. Classes will be offered in southeastern Michigan. A formal announcement of the Academy was made by Governor Jennifer M. Granholm on August 14.

In a recent press release, Gov. Granholm said, “These courses are a terrific opportunity for engineers to learn about cutting edge hybrid and battery technology as part of the Green Jobs Initiative.”

The Green Jobs Initiative in Michigan is overseen by DELEG and ensures that the new industries that develop as more eco-friendly, green technology is sought have the right people to man their facilities. Renewable energy is a sector that is growing rapidly, and the MAGM is Michigan’s response to the need for highly trained workers in that field. Although the MAGM courses are primarily for incumbent automobile engineers, some unemployed workers who meet the pre-requisites may also qualify to enter the program.

The main objective of MAGM is to train people for new technologies in vehicle propulsion, component design, manufacturing and maintenance. The program is administered by a governing board of educators and training providers, employers as well as the workforce development system and Michigan state government.

MAGM is offered under the Governor’s No Worker Left Behind (NWLB) program, which provides worker training for high demand jobs and new industries in development. Under NWLB, individuals who qualify can obtain two years of tuition free education at Michigan community colleges, universities and other approved training programs. Over 81,000 have been placed in the program as of June 2009.

Some courses offered at the Academy include Advanced Propulsion for Hybrid Vehicles with Concentration in Battery Engineering (sponsored by Michigan Technological University) and Advanced Battery Systems for Hybrid Electric Vehicles (sponsored by Wayne State University).

More information about these courses and about the MAGM can be obtained at the Wayne State and Michigan Tech websites.

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