North Central Michigan College announced today that it has received a $25,000 gift to its Building Tomorrow Together campaign from The Manthei Group.

The gift provides funding to advance the college’s initiatives in several key areas, including:

  • Creating adaptable student-learning and collaboration spaces in the new Borra Learning Center, including seven new high-tech classrooms and a 3,000-square-foot Student Commons
  • Establishing a “First Stop” near college’s busiest classrooms to provide centralized access to support services including advising, counseling, and career services
  • Increasing STEM education and entrepreneurship across the curriculum
  • Expanding access to scholarship opportunities and student success supports

The Manthei Group is an ensemble of seven Northern Michigan companies that includes Manthei Veneer in Petoskey, Manthei Construction in Charlevoix, and Aster Brands in Petoskey. 

Aster Brands President Jake Manthei said the gift will support local talent development, critical to all Michigan businesses and manufacturers.  Manthei said a recent conversation at a robotics competition demonstrated a need to support North Central, which is educating the workforce of the future locally.

“I sat next to a mom who was in tears because she thought that her son who’s studying engineering could never find a job locally,” Manthei said.  “We’re always looking for sharp folks to build our team—engineers, finance folks, welders, marketers, equipment operators, factory workers.  You can build a career in Northern Michigan, and I want more parents to realize that.”

Amanda Haworth, director of human resources for The Manthei Group, said internships represent another link between the company and North Central.  The Manthei Group welcomes between five and eight interns per year, in areas such as engineering, finance and marketing.

“We expect to have a need for more skilled people as we invest in automation, from a controls and programming standpoint and robotics in automation,” Haworth said.  “It just made sense to partner with North Central because they are investing in training the workforce of the future.”

NCMC President David Roland Finley said all gifts to the Building Tomorrow Together campaign support the college’s vision to be the first choice for higher education, empowering all to achieve more than they believe possible.

“North Central is grateful for this partnership with The Manthei Group, an organization that shares our commitment to providing students with the tools to succeed in a dynamic, interconnected global economy,” Finley said.  “Well-prepared North Central graduates will benefit both our regional workforce and the economy, as 70—90 percent of North Central’s graduates live and work in our four-county service area of Emmet, Charlevoix, Otsego, and Cheboygan counties.”

The Manthei Group is owned and operated by the Manthei family, which has been doing business in Northern Michigan for the last 100 years, starting with farming, moving into forestry, heavy construction, and licensing equipment and technology for the construction industry.  For more information, visit

North Central Michigan College is an open-door community college based in Petoskey, with additional locations offering classes and services in Cheboygan and Gaylord.  North Central’s mission is to provide exceptional, accessible, relevant higher education of and for the community.  North Central is an Achieving the Dream Leader College with a designation of Veteran Friendly Bronze by the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency.  For more information, visit


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Megan Van Horn
Content Media Administrator