Skip to main content
Email Subscription

To sign up for email updates from Macomb County or to access your subscriber preferences, please enter your email address. If you would like to subscribe for text alerts please select Text Updates in the drop-down menu.

Planning and Economic Development

 Subscribe to eMacomb Newsletter

eMacomb - Progress through Partnerships, Fall 2016

Macomb Manufacturing Day shows education secretary, students successful apprenticeships

Each year, our department partners with the Macomb Intermediate School District to celebrate Manufacturing Day. The initiative continues to grow, and this year it involved more than 1,600 students from across the county touring 56 local host sites to learn about careers in modern manufacturing. This year also included a special visit from U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr.

King toured Proper Group International in Warren with students from Lake Shore Public Schools, where they were able to see how automotive parts are made and talk with employees. The tour concluded with a roundtable discussion facilitated by Joe Petrosky, dean of engineering and advanced technology for Macomb Community College (MCC).

With an impressive apprenticeship program with MCC already in place, Proper Group was the perfect location for this roundtable discussion, which focused on opportunities for students to use apprenticeships as a gateway into a profession.

One of Proper Group’s employees detailed his experience starting as an apprentice with the company. Upon acceptance into the program, Proper Group paid his wages as well as for his schooling. He started sweeping floors at the company and made his way up through the ranks to CNC machining. After making the transition from manufacturing to engineering, he wanted to learn the business side of the industry, and Proper Group is now helping to pay for his next level of education at Walsh College.


MFG Day Proper Group_1.jpg

As our workforce ages, it is important to introduce students to career opportunities in manufacturing. Many do not realize the modern technology involved in today’s manufacturing industry or that their education can be paid for and wages earned while they learn this new skill set. Students are also surprised to learn an average salary is $79,000, and there are opportunities for advancement.

At the end of the discussion, the education secretary said he was impressed with Proper Group’s commitment to their employees. He said he was inspired and encouraged by what he saw at Macomb County’s Manufacturing Day event, specifically employers committed to workforce, supportive schools and good partnerships with community colleges. King said this is the model for the rest of the country.

Major support for this event came from sponsors Dominion Technologies Group, Fisher Dynamics, Fori Automation, Futuramic Tool & Engineering Company, L&L Products, PTI Engineered Plastics, Proper Group International and Wico Metal Products. Visit for a complete list of our sponsors.

Related links:

10/07/16 - Education secretary in Warren encourages training - The Detroit News

10/06/16 - Education secretary to visit Warren on Friday - The Detroit News

10/06/16 - U.S. Education Secretary John King to visit Warren and Flint - Detroit Free Press

09/25/16 - Manufacturing ups its cool factor in hopes of attracting young workers - Detroit Free Press

08/22/16 - More Business Partners Wanted for Manufacturing Day - SEMCOG (blog)

06/21/16 - Companies sought for Manufacturing Day tours - Macomb Daily