Food Processing and Workforce Development

The MSU Institute of Agricultural Technology, in cooperation with community colleges, food processors and other partners, is developing a broad-based initiative to support accelerated growth in food and agriculture processing.

The Michigan State University (MSU) Institute of Agricultural Technology (IAT), in cooperation with community colleges, food processors and other partners, is developing a broad-based initiative to support accelerated growth in food and agriculture processing.

In the last year, MSU has expanded its two-year certificate programs in the IAT to include nearly a dozen community college partners. That is in addition to its nine on-campus certificate programs. Full-time students are able to complete their certificate within two years. In addition to being accessible and affordable, these programs help meet the industry needs.

Michigan's food processing industry has identified a limited skilled workforce as a barrier to expansion. One objective of this initiative is to create a dual certificate and associate degree program in food processing designed and executed in collaboration with Michigan community colleges.

Nearly half of agriculture jobs in Michigan involve food processing. By creating a food processing certificate program that is available to students at their community college using the mobile food processing laboratory, we can offer hands-on experience to students throughout the state. Highly qualified teaching faculty will prepare students both on campus and at community colleges for jobs with any of the hundreds of food processors who call Michigan home. 

The state of Michigan invested in the MSU Fruit and Vegetable Lab renovations, mobile lab equipment and first-year operations in FY18.


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