MCTI helps graduates with work, life

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Keegan Linton knows one thing for sure about the Michigan Career and Technical Institute.

The school changed his life.

Linton, a Plainwell, Mich., resident who graduated from MCTI in June 2017, said the school – which promotes the integration of adults with disabilities into the workplace and society by providing vocation training – had a huge impact on his life.

The 23-year-old Linton used his MCTI education to snag a welder’s position with Schupan Aluminum & Plastic Sales in Kalamazoo, Mich.

“MCTI was great,” said Linton, who is deaf. “They changed my life with an interpreter. It’s the best place to go.”

MCTI recently hosted a graduation ceremony for 172 students with disabilities from across the state at its Plainwell campus.

Have daily goals
The guest speaker for that ceremony was state Rep. Tommy Brann, a Republican from Kent County who has been a member of the Business Advisory Council for MCTI’s culinary arts program. He’s also the owner of Brann’s Steakhouse & Sports Grille, which has hired several MCTI students.

Brann said the MCTI students provide his restaurant, which has been in the same Division Street location in Wyoming, Mich., for 48 years, with a steady stream of ready-to-go employees.

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“It’s bringing in workers with a college education who have some experience, and who are really pumped up for the profession,” Brann said. “It’s less training for us, they pick it up fast. It has worked really well.”

In his speech at the graduation ceremony, Brann related a story about how impressed he is with actor Daniel Craig, the latest James Bond. Brann said he sets a daily goal to work toward physical conditioning similar to Craig.

That was his message: Make sure you have goals.

“I talked about work ethic – showing up on time, doing extra things for the boss, because the boss appreciates that,” Brann said. “I talked about having daily goals, not just yearly goals. My daily goals keep me going.”

MCTI is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. Operated by Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS), formerly within the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, MCTI now operates under the auspices of the newly created Department of Labor and Opportunity.

Vocational training
MCTI provides vocational training in 13 careers. It is the second largest rehabilitation training center in the country.

“MCTI puts Michiganders with disabilities on the road to opportunity by helping them maximize their talents,” said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. “Investing in skills training is vitally important to the state’s economy and its residents.”

Students can be enrolled in technical training programs in automotive technology, cabinet making/millwork, certified nurse assistant, culinary arts, custodial, electronics, graphic communications, grounds maintenance/landscaping, machine technology, office automation, pharmacy services, retail marketing and construction.

“We are proud of the achievements of these students,” said MDHHS Director Robert Gordon. “MCTI students demonstrate that providing opportunities to all Michiganders brings positive results – for students who are able to pursue their career interests and for employers who benefit from the skills and work ethic that MCTI graduates bring to the table.”

MCTI also offers health, psychological and social work services, sports and activities, housing, student government and much more. Learn more at

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Brad Kadrich
Brad Kadrich is an award-winning journalist with more than 30 years’ experience, most recently as an editor/content coach for the Observer & Eccentric Newspapers and Hometown Life, managing 10 newspapers in Wayne and Oakland counties. He was born in Detroit, grew up in Warren and spent 15 years in the U.S. Air Force, primarily producing base newspapers and running media and community relations operations.