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Planning and Economic Development

Contact: Vicky Rowinski, Director of Macomb County Planning & Economic Development

Phone: 586-469-5065



July 20, 2022

Macomb County’s free career training program sees first graduates, continues offering tuition assistance ahead of fall semester at Macomb Community College

Tuition and needed materials to be provided for income-eligible individuals

Macomb County and Macomb Community College have marked their first wave of graduates through a free career training program launched in January 2022. The program, which is funded by a $515,000 Regional Talent Innovation Grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and $320,000 from the Community Development Block Grant, has seen 86 approved applications with 62 students currently enrolled in coursework. The classes provide training for income-eligible individuals in high-demand fields like health care, engineering and advanced technology.

“Companies across our region are in need of skilled and qualified individuals to fill a variety of important positions,” said Vicky Rowinski, director, Macomb County Planning and Economic Development. “This training program will help us get a new wave of employees out into the field to apply for and fill those job openings. It’s a proactive solution to a problem facing many employers, and a real opportunity for individuals looking to change careers or take a new professional direction.”

Keona is a recent graduate of the training program. She is a single mother of two young children who was able to pursue a certificate as a certified nursing assistant at no cost.

“I am grateful to be able to have access to these programs in my community, especially a nursing program free to me,” she said. “My goal is to become a registered nurse, so I chose the nursing assistant program. This experience gives me a firsthand look into what RNs do daily, which will help me once I start an RN program.”

In addition to the knowledge and insights, Keona gained employment opportunities through the career training program.

“I had so many job offers within two weeks of my completion of the program,” she said. “I accepted a job offer with great benefits and great pay while doing what I love  – caring, nurturing and assisting people with compassion and skills gained.”

The opportunity to apply for the free training program was recently expanded through updates to income requirements. The program is now available to Macomb County residents with a current income of $50,150 and below.

“Eligibility is now based on the student's income only, not the combined income for the household,” said Stephanie Burgess, program manager for community development with Macomb Community Action. “With rising housing costs and other economic challenges bubbling, we worked to revise the rules for this program so we could accommodate as many individuals as possible.”

Applicants must also have experienced a financial hardship related to COVID-19. Once approved, they can start their coursework in one of several high-demand fields, including:

  • Health Care: Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), Dental Assistant, Laboratory Assistant, Phlebotomy, Pharmacy Tech
  • Engineering & Advanced Technology: Controls Technician, Industrial Maintenance Technician, Robot Programmer, Robot Technician, and Marine Maintenance Technician

The ability to earn a credential in each of the offered programs ranges from 4-17 weeks. Tuition assistance also covers the costs of any needed books, supplies and/or testing fees.

Enrollment for the fall semester at Macomb Community College is now open. Individuals interested in learning more about the program and accessing and application can visit


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For media inquiries only, please contact Tom Lehrer at 586-463-3523.