While graduate level optics and photonics education in the state of Michigan has a rich tradition, college level programs that produce photonics technicians are virtually non-existent. Baker College has started the first two-year photonics program in the state in fall 2013. The program is leveraging support from Mi-Light, the Michigan Photonics Cluster; OP-TEC, the National Center for Optics and Photonics Education; and an NSF Project Grant awarded to the College. In its first year the photonics program has achieved important milestones - convening an Advisory Board with industry participation, developing almost the entire curriculum, and creating a fully functional optics and photonics laboratory. Outreach activities have also taken place. The paper will describe the steps taken to introduce the new program and the lessons learned along the way.