ACC’s proactive approach pays off

The secret for success for any operation is to not rest on today’s laurels, but always strive to improve at what you do.

In my estimation the administration at Alpena Community College is a good example to emulate because of that attitude.

It would be easy for ACC officials to sit back and let students come to them. However, that would be just the opposite of what their philosophy actually is, which is to adapt and change offerings to reflect how best to meet the educational needs of our Northeast Michigan communities.

Toward that end several years ago the administration saw the need for a marine technology program to be considered. Based on the tremendous reception of the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary and Underwater Preserve locally, and the types of exposure and research that were being implemented there, ACC folks saw potential for an emerging new technology that would need workers and researchers.

After receiving approval from the Michigan legislature to offer the new program, which leads to a two-year associate degree in applied science, the program was launched. Immediately it received interest from students and just recently, three of the first graduates from the program were hired by Oceanneering of Louisiana. The firm is a marine technology company that uses remote operated vehicles all the time in its business. The three graduates will be helping to maintain the ROV fleet used by the company.

It’s great to see immediate dividends for the three graduates, and for the ACC marine technology program.

And, as an interesting side note, the interviews with the three graduates actually took place when Oceanneering folks were in Alpena recently for the international ROV competition.

Today is good but tomorrow can be better.

So think the folks at ACC, and who could argue?


Don’t forget Monday’s candidate forum sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Alpena County. The forum begins at 7 p.m. at ACC’s Granum Theatre. Invited to participate are state and local candidates who face opposition in the August primary election.

I appreciate the League and its members for their efforts at helping to inform and educate the public on election issues. Their efforts mirror those of the newspaper and together, we’ve been good partners for 50 years.

Bill Speer can be reached via email at or by phone at 354-3111 ext. 331. Follow Bill on Twitter @billspeer13. Read his blog, More BS?(Bill Speer) at