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WMCAT's Adult Career Training Program aims to bring income security to Kent Co. residents

Students studying in WMCAT's adult career training program
Enrollment is open for WMCAT's adult career training program

Graduates of WMCAT's 2021 program reported earning an average of $16 an hour right after graduation, with some earning as high as $21 an hour.

The West Michigan Center for Arts and Technology (WMCAT) is working to engage Kent County adults who are facing unemployment or underemployment through its tuition-free adult career training program.

Enrollment for the program is currently open, offering students two choices for career pathways:

Health Information - includes tracks in medical administration, billings and coding
Pharmacy Technician - trains students in technology, customer support and pharmacology

WMCAT Director of Workforce Development, Renida Clark, said the program is a way to build income security in Kent County. She said these careers pay living wages, and employers are actively seeking roles in these fields.

“Our class of 2021, we're seeing them come out of WMCAT gaining an average of $16 an hour, but it varies form $16 an hour all the way to that $20 to $21an hour," she said.

Clark says along with mentoring students inside the classroom, the program also acknowledges the real-life challenges that can go into adult education and has an on-site therapist available to aid students in potential obstacles.

“The tuition free is a huge piece of that equity that we really, really, really emphasize," she said. "However we understand that when you walk through these WMCAT doors you aren't just a student and everything else leaves...We have students who are mothers. We have students who still need to gain employment. We have students who are the head of household.”

Classes for each of the program tracks are held over four to eight months between September 2022 and June 2023. The program is open to adults with high school diplomas or GED’s living in Kent County and have no record of a felony. Enrollees must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by the start of classes.

Enrollment closes June 20 and can be found online at WMCAT.org.

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