Photo: Ed Wolking, President, Great Lakes Manufacturing Council; Ed Kotevich, Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program Coordinator, Windsor, ON; Julie Van Dyke, Director of Development, WSCC; Roger Feldhaus, Advanced Manufacturing, Ivy Tech Corporate College, Indiana; and Leo Reddy, Manufacturing Skill Standards Council.
West Shore Community College’s Manufacturing Technologies Open Entry/Open Exit program was among four manufacturing talent development programs selected for special recognition at The Big M conference by the Great Lakes Manufacturing Council’s (GLMC) Talented Workforce Initiative.
WSCC’s program was recognized for its continuous enrollment, flexible scheduling and on-line offerings for workers, and for its flexible modules that can be matched to individual employers’ needs. The program has seen a 40% increase in students since 2011.
Honors also went to the Advancing Manufacturing program sponsored by Ivy Tech Community College – Corporate College in Lafayette, Indiana. The initiative is a major regional multi-sector partnership integrated with economic development programs in northwest Indiana. The program focuses on training certified production technicians, has produced 179 graduates, and has 191 currently enrolled.
In Canada, the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program in Windsor, Ontario was singled out for its true apprenticeship approach that begins in grade 11 and features a year of full-time employment at a manufacturer, as well as high school credits, apprenticeship wages, and competencies toward trade certification. There have been hundreds of graduates since 1989. Sponsored by the Greater Essex County School Board, the program is dedicated to convincing parents that manufacturing is a viable career.
At the national level, the Certified Production Technician program, sponsored by the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council, received the award for its industry led training, assessment and certification process that ensures the core technical competencies of high skilled production workers. The program features five production modules and has produced more than 40,000 certified production technician credentials, with over 50% of those in the Great Lakes states.
Ed Wolking, Jr., president of the GLMC, noted that the programs are as diverse in their design and approach as the workers and employers they serve and represent the diversity and quality of all the programs that were nominated. “The selections were a challenge for the judges,” Wolking said, “because the quality of all the programs was so high. These four are exemplary of all the others.”
The programs of the 30 nominees are listed on the GLMC web site and intended to serve as both an example of the forward-looking commitment to developing manufacturing talent in the Great Lakes region and as benchmarks for other workforce initiatives in the region.
The Council covers the provinces of Quebec and Ontario, and the states of New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota and includes manufacturing organizations, chambers of commerce, economic development organizations, government agencies, colleges and universities.
Author: Thomas Hawley | Executive Director of College Communications & Community Engagement