Skill up: Training a new generation for a career in manufacturing

Skill up: Training a new generation for a career in manufacturing

June 18, 2024
In this news roundup, see how companies and educational organizations are investing in the future of manufacturing.

It’s no secret that the manufacturing industry has a workforce problem. Despite continued growth in the sector, attracting and retaining the right workers is a concern that keeps many executives up at night. A recent report predicts that the manufacturing industry will need as many as 3.8 million new workers by 2033, but 1.9 million of those jobs could go unfilled. To combat this issue, manufacturers, industry organizations, and government officials at all levels are investing in education and training opportunities across the country. Here are a few examples of how industrial stakeholders are coming together to inspire, educate, and train the next generation of manufacturing workers. 

MIT xPRO, in collaboration with Emeritus, has introduced a nine-month Global Manufacturing Leadership Program, which is engineered to give executives the skills they need to drive manufacturing excellence. The online program, which starts in June, offers practical insights from seasoned industry leaders. In a recent quote, John Carrier, Faculty Director Senior Lecturer of System Dynamics at the MIT Sloan School of Management, said, "MIT xPRO's Global Manufacturing Leadership Program is tailored to manufacturing leaders and is designed to empower them in making strategic decisions by effectively leveraging technology. Our goal is to help senior leaders navigate the changing manufacturing landscape efficiently and guide them towards operational excellence, yet never losing focus on their most important role – leading people." 
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The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) has awarded a $750,000 Drive for Five Workforce Initiative grant to the Minnesota State Advanced Manufacturing Center of Excellence (Center) at Bemidji State University.  The funding is part of a larger, $20 million initiative that hopes to train and place 1,200 individuals and benefit 3,000 businesses within 15 months.  In a recent quote, Jeremy Leffelman, executive director of the Center, said, “The Center’s goal is to strengthen the connection between manufacturing and education. We are dedicated to helping people develop the skills and training needed for advanced manufacturing careers, ultimately leading to family-sustaining wages, gainful employment, and contributions to Minnesota’s economic vitality.”    
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Central Georgia Technical College (CGTC) and the Georgia Veterans Education Career Transition Resource (VECTR) Center have partnered to train students for a career in manufacturing. The new AI-Enhanced Robotic Manufacturing Studio, located at the Georgia VECTR Center in Warner Robins, was made possible through the GA AIM (Georgia Artificial Intelligence in Manufacturing) Coalition. 
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Holyoke High School Dean Campus, located in Massachusetts, has introduced "Greater Holyoke Vocational Training After Dark." This program is designed to offer free specialized career and technical training for adults, with one track focusing on advanced manufacturing. This program offers students the opportunity to earn an Introduction to Advanced Manufacturing certificate from the school, along with OSHA-10 certification. In a recent quote, Dean CTE Director Joel McAuliffe said, “This initiative underscores Dean Tech’s commitment to broadening access to education and empowering individuals with the skills needed for career success in high-demand fields.”  
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Rock Valley College, in partnership with McHenry County College and Highland Community College, has received a $5.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). In total 41 community colleges across the country were given $65 million in federal grants to train students for a career in manufacturing. In a recent quote, Illinois governor JB Pritzker said, “The future of manufacturing is in Illinois. Thanks to this federal grant, Rock Valley College and its partners will provide stipends and train hundreds of students for in-demand, high-paying manufacturing jobs. This endeavor, along with the investments my administration has made, strategically expands the talent pipeline Illinois companies need to remain competitive globally. It’s a win-win for everyone.” 
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About the Author

Alexis Gajewski | Senior Content Strategist

Alexis Gajewski has over 15 years of experience in the maintenance, reliability, operations, and manufacturing space. She joined Plant Services in 2008 and works to bring readers the news, insight, and information they need to make the right decisions for their plants. Alexis also authors “The Lighter Side of Manufacturing,” a blog that highlights the fun and innovative advances in the industrial sector. 

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