Wayne State and MEDC partner to promote careers in EVs and semiconductors through Michigander Scholars program

Professor Mohammed Ismail working with students in the semiconductor fabrication lab

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) announced an expansion of its Michigander Scholars program to include Wayne State University, enabling its students interested in the electric vehicle, mobility or semiconductor industries to pursue scholarships, embark on a successful career path and grow the state of Michigan’s talent pool.

The Michigander Scholars program offers participating students a $5,000 scholarship for internships with partner employers and up to $10,000 for accepting a full-time position that ensures they will live and work in Michigan for a year after graduation.

Wayne State is one of seven higher education institutions in this program. The MEDC also added several new employers, including BorgWarner, Magna and Nissan. These companies will join existing partners Bosch, Calumet Electronics, DENSO, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Hemlock Semiconductor, KLA,  LG Energy Solutions, Mahle, Our Next Energy, Shape Corp., SK Siltron CSS, Subaru, Toyota, Ultium Cells and ZF.

"Empowering students through scholarships and fostering strong industry partnerships are the cornerstones of our commitment to shaping the future of engineering education at Wayne State University,” said Ali Abolmaali, dean of the College of Engineering. “By investing in our students' potential and forging collaborations with industry leaders, we not only ensure their success in the workforce but also contribute to the vitality of Michigan's innovation ecosystem."

Active participants are eligible in their sophomore, junior and senior years of college, as well as graduate school. The Michigander Scholars program focuses on students pursuing technology or engineering degrees in career fields that are important to Michigan employers. Participating students can earn a scholarship and gain access to networking opportunities, industry education, internships and jobs.

“We recognize our pivotal role in equipping students with the skills necessary to become leaders in the EV, mobility and semiconductor industries,” said Gozde Tutuncuoglu, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering. “To this end, we are continuously enhancing our academic programs ― such as the recently launched online semiconductor engineering master's program ― and refining our curricula to meet the evolving demands of these sectors. The Michigander Scholars program will be instrumental in augmenting our ongoing efforts in these areas.”

Last October, Wayne State welcomed MEDC officials and guests from other universities to its Midtown Detroit campus for an announcement of the largest investment in state history to expand semiconductor education and workforce training resources. More than $1.1 million in MEDC grants and matching funds support three new Wayne State programs that will allow current and incoming Wayne State students to explore emerging career possibilities in this space and expand Wayne State’s outreach and accessibility to middle and high school students, including those in underserved communities.

Wayne State is a recognized economic driver in Detroit and the state of Michigan, with a $2.6 billion annual impact. More than three out of every four Wayne State graduates live and work in Michigan.

“Wayne State is truly in our community, we work for our community and we do so with our community,” said President Kimberly Andrews Espy, Ph.D. “We aspire to build upon our strong legacy of economic development in Detroit and Michigan by deepening our engagement with the business community and through efforts like the Michigander Scholars initiative, which will ensure students graduate career ready and prepared to thrive.”

The goals of the Michigander Scholars program align with WSU’s College to Career initiative, which seeks to provide every student with experiential learning opportunities that allow them to encounter the world, gain deeper insights and new perspectives, and prepare for prosperous careers.

In addition to financial assistance, students in the program benefit from direct interaction ― mentorship, interview preparation, factory tours and information sessions ― with industry partners to better understand the opportunities available.

The application process for the Michiganders Scholars is currently open. Students are encouraged to apply as soon as possible because the number of scholarships is limited and will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.

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