Westland Campus Grand Opening – 25,000 sq ft Building Serves as Second Permanent SEMCA Campus

    The Southeast Michigan Construction Academy officially opened the doors to the trade school on February 29. The grand opening ceremony hosted more than 250 people interested in seeing the state-of-the-art facility and exploring their career options in construction.
    School staff was joined by Westland City officials, including council members, Westland deputy mayor James Godbout and Wayne/Westland schools superintendent Dr. John Dignan to celebrate the beginning of a new era of construction.
    “When I walked in the door today, my breath was taken away. It’s unbelievable how this facility has turned out,” Dignan said. “The best things in this community, region and state were built by men and women in the skilled trades. The kids and young adults in our communities are going to have opportunities to have access to starting careers right away and honor the blue-collar history that is Westland, Michigan.”
    The school was open to the public for tours and to learn about the different skilled trades programs offered. SEMCA instructors set up throughout the shop to showcase electrical, carpentry and welding, and answer any questions future students may have about the field.
    For one budding construction professional, he was encouraged by his father to attend the grand opening and see what career possibilities lie ahead for him.

    “I graduated from high school last year and knew college wasn’t my path, but wasn’t sure what was my calling,” said Westland teen A.J. Miller. “I came out here today to see the new school and talk with the instructors. I have a lot of people in my family who work in construction, so it’s a familiar subject, but I would like to learn more about each specific trade. It’s great that there’s different stations set up so I can see the tools and materials, and also talk with people who work in those fields. After today, I can definitely see a potential future for me here.”

    The new Westland campus will accommodate approximately 300 new students annually. This is in addition to the main campus in Madison Heights, which also accommodates 300 students annually and the satellite locations in Lapeer, Holly and Monroe. “The great thing about SEMCA is that we are open to all comers. We don’t require incoming students to take an entrance exam and we don’t have a waiting list,” said SEMCA president & CEO Keith Ledbetter.

    Greg Sizemore, the vice president of health, safety, environment and workforce development from ABC National mentioned to guests that the nation is facing a shortage of skilled workers and that organizations like SEMCA are working to solve the problem.
    “We’re all here tonight to celebrate the opening of this facility, but also because communities like Westland welcomed the trade school with open arms,” Sizemore said. “Southeast Michigan is doing the heavy lifting and solving the shortage. We need to add 500,000 men and women to the workforce, and it’s getting done right here in this zip code.”

    We want to thank D.J. Maltese Construction for their hard work transforming this building and a special shoutout to Independence Commercial Construction, Third Coast Electric, and Expert Heating and Cooling as the specialty-contractors on the project. We couldn’t have done this without you!

    Enrollment for all SEMCA locations will open in early May for the fall semester. Anyone interested in enrolling employees in classes or learning more about what SEMCA has to offer, is encouraged to visit semcaschool.org.