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We recently hosted a Webinar “Lunch ‘N Learn” session partnering with MATC. The goal of the webinar was providing students with information about Manufacturing and related careers from educational and workforce perspectives.

MATC faculty invited Allis Roller to participate as well as some other professionals in similar industries. We were given the opportunity to speak with the students and discussed a wide range of topics, all focused around providing real world examples of what it is like to work in the manufacturing industry. We spoke with 10th graders that were currently enrolled at Madison, Bradley Tech, Audubon, Project Stay and WCLL. All students showed a primary interest in manufacturing as a career path.

There is a lack of quality employee prospects from the younger generations. Research has shown that there has been little to no responses within our own industry. Allis Roller and MATC are looking to be part of the solution. This series is needed to reinvigorate the interest in manufacturing and the trades for students.

Employer outreach events and efforts like this must take place to keep the younger generation informed. Focusing on a pool of qualified candidates is going to be where we need it to be going forward. There have been numerous examples of other outreach programs with success in increasing student interest. Some from past years that have born out success, include:

Northeast Ohio:

“The Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) Manufacturing Technology Center of Excellence convening of manufacturing employers was held at the Corporate College East location on November 30, 2016. The half-day event was organized in conjunction with Achieving the Dream’s Career Pathways initiative funded by the Arconic Foundation. Tri-C brought together manufacturing employers, regional governmental agencies, education and training organizations, and civic stakeholders to discuss specific strategies aimed at improving the manufacturing talent pipeline and easing the skills gap in Northeast Ohio.

As with the two other convening’s facilitated by Achieving the Dream as part of this initiative (in Muskegon MI and Westmoreland County PA), the goal of the structured conversation was to identify areas of need and to craft an action plan for addressing gaps in the region’s pipeline for qualified manufacturing workers. Invitations were extended to manufacturing employers and their associations and to key education and economic leaders in the private and public sectors. Of the more than seventy participants, about a third were manufacturing employers. Others represented stakeholders from economic development, workforce development organizations, non-profit service providers, higher education, funding organizations, and city, state and county government. Tri-C was represented by staff from the Manufacturing Technology Center of Excellence, Corporate College, and the Advanced Technology Training Center.”

Washington State:

“SkillUp Washington, a workforce funding collaborative, received a three year grant from the Boeing Company in 2012 to increase the connectedness and capacity of the Manufacturing Advancement Pathways Project (MAPP) at four community and technical colleges in the Puget Sound region. Three years later in November 2015, the Boeing Company awarded SkillUp an additional one-year grant to enhance the career pathway efforts of job seekers and entry-level workers who have low basic skills in the advanced manufacturing and aerospace industries

The MAPP partners, which include college and workforce development organizations, have met regularly over the past five years. SkillUp Washington has convened and staffed this work. During this time MAPP partners have taken many bold and innovative actions to align their resources, and increase their understanding of where and how the manufacturing career pathway could be strengthened to meet the current and emerging needs of employers. For example, to more fully understand and streamline employer engagement efforts they developed a master list showing how and where employers were involved in manufacturing career pathways. Each of the MAPP college partners (South Seattle College, Shoreline College, Renton Technical College, and Everett Community College) provided data about the role(s) of employers in their manufacturing career pathway work. As part of their next step capacity building efforts the MAPP partners decided to survey a subgroup of employers whom they felt could provide more in depth information. “

Numerous examples of these kinds of programs exist and offer a promising future for our industry. Reaching out to these schools and students can really make a difference in the long term employment picture of the manufacturing industry. This was a great experience for Allis Roller and MATC.

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