Ag tech certificates = you’re hired!

The director of Michigan State University’s Institute of Agricultural Technology says there are not enough students to fill current industry needs.

Jeno Rivera tells Brownfield, “We have a placement rate of almost 100 percent of most of our students going into a career of their choice, post their certificate program, or they’re transferring into MSU into the four-year program.”

Rivera says students certified in the Food Processing and Technology, Forestry Technology, and Viticulture programs are in most demand.

“Our industry is like, ‘We need people now!’ and we’re not graduating enough students,” she says.

Finding instructors knowledgeable enough to carry out programs and coordinators across 13 campuses in Michigan has also been difficult.

“Trying to fill those positions is somewhat challenging and making sure that they are filled for each semester,” she says.

Rivera says the two-year programs provide workforce-ready courses and internships.

She’s trying to partner with the Department of Labor to find ways employers can cover education costs or offer apprenticeships to also help incentivize enrollment.

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