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      Preparing local workers for skilled jobs

      A group of Northern Michigan graduates are heading back into the workforce after being re-trained.

      " We're having a hard time finding skilled employees to fill the positions we are looking for and with this program we are getting students that are already being introducing manufacturing environment all ready to go to work and ready to bring in and for us start training them with the way we do things around here ," Demmer Corp. Plant Manager Don Schorhhar said.

      T he Demmer Corporation in Petoskey is one of eight companies helping out students in the 'Just in Time' basic machine training program. This was created through a partnership between Northwest Michigan Works and North Central Michigan College. To help local companies get better quality applicants and to help unemployed workers become more qualified for local manufacturing jobs.

      " This is a really big opportunity that I jumped on soon as I could cause I've learned so much I've gone from knowing nothing about these machines whatsoever to where I know a lot more than I did now ," Participant Jonah Duncan said.

      D uncan is one of the thirteen students who have completed the program. H e has a job lined up at Precision Edge in Boyne City. He decided to get the training because he was tired of working part-time jobs for low wages.

      " It ' s pretty important with how hard the times are now, you get out there and find a job to keep things afloat and put food on the table ," Duncan said.

      E ach of the thirteen students will likely find a job in the coming months. T he same program was held back in July and all of the graduates successfully found employment.