ACC to pursue companies for jobs program

ALPENA – The Alpena Community College Board of Trustees continued its mission to provide technical training to students as well as opportunities for companies seeking qualified workers.

During the board meeting, college President Olin Joynton was authorized to pursue the first steps with three companies that want to participate in the Michigan New Jobs Training Program. Don MacMaster, dean of workforce development, will be joining him in that effort.

A 2008 Michigan public acts law created the legal structure needed so community colleges could provide companies with training for employees in new jobs, Joynton said. Companies initially pay for the training. But the money eventually is returned to them as new jobs and new employees generate new state income tax revenues.

Meanwhile, Joynton and Marketing Director Jay Walterreit are continuing their efforts to draw more students to the school.

Walterreit presented a scoreboard that showed the number of applications submitted versus the number of students who eventually enrolled. Using the concept of leading indicators, Walterreit said the goal is to fill empty seats in programs through targeted recruiting.

The college will post the board at Van Lare Hall as ACC continues to seek students from parts of the country where engineering, concrete and marine industries are thriving.

Joynton also reported on trends in college costs and said 42 percent of students who obtained associate degrees had no college debt; 24 percent owned less than $10,000 for their two-year degrees.

Joynton also presented a report on the performance of ACC students who transferred to Saginaw Valley State University to finish four-year degrees. The 3.43 grade point average of 23 students was identical to that of the rest of SVSU’s graduating class.

Joynton said the figure demonstrated the quality of preparation the students received at ACC.

In other business:

* board members met in closed session to discuss their collective bargaining strategy.

* Trustee Lisa Hilberg discussed progress on developing an evaluation system to measure the performance of Joynton as president. She will be getting comments on whether to use a metrics system to measure things like recruitment progress or base the evaluation on Joynton’s job description as president.

* approved emeritus status for Katherine Meharg, who retired March 1. She joined the college in June 1993 and served as Talent Search secretary, Workplace Partnership secretary, Small Business Development Center secretary, Campus Services clerical assistant, and Workforce Development secretary.

* rescheduled the April 17 board meeting to 7 p.m., April 16 because of religious commitments.

Betsy Lehndorff can be reached via email at or by phone at 358-5693. Follow Betsy on Twitter @bl_alpenanews.