Archive for July, 2013
Innovative Workforce Solutions to Help the Advanced Manufacturing Industry Address Hiring, Training, and Retention Challenges
The U.S. Department of Labor has announced a series of investments totaling more than $105 million to address the workforce needs of the advanced manufacturing industry. These investments result from forums which the U.S. Department of Labor hosted over the past three years with industry leaders, educators, and the public workforce system to identify the industry’s hiring, training, and retention challenges.
DOL has sought to understand and implement industry-identified strategies to confront critical workforce challenges. It has listened to employers, representatives from industry associations and labor-management organizations, and others associated with the advanced manufacturing industry regarding their efforts to identify challenges and implement effective workforce strategies. However, the challenges they face are far too complex for one institution or industry sector to solve alone. DOL’s Employment and Training Administration is supporting comprehensive partnerships that include employers, the public workforce system, and other entities that have developed innovative approaches that address the workforce needs of business while also effectively helping workers find good jobs with good wages and promising career pathways in the advanced manufacturing industry.
The set of workforce solutions is based on the advanced manufacturing industry’s priorities that address issues such as: Training for Innovation. Pipeline Development, Career Awareness, Immigration, Foundational Skills and Competencies, Small Business Issues, Incumbent Worker Training and Training the Supply Chain.
Locally, $13.1 million has been allocated for use byCentralLakesCollege,PineTechnicalCollege, St. Cloud Technical and Community College and 360 Manufacturing and Applied Engineering Center of Excellence with a goal of reaching 3,900 individuals and significantly increase the number of workers receiving training and credentials in advanced manufacturing.
Mediated Telepresence is the newest telepresence server and Lecture Vision-style technology available and will be used to provide high-definition (HD) video training and conferencing into as many as fifteen manufacturing partner locations. Clow Stamping Company is one of five “local” manufacturing firms installing mediated telepresence in their training rooms. As part of this technology, students will be able to have a “virtual tour” of manufacturing processes !
Twyla Flaws, Personnel Manager at Clow Stamping Company, just returned from a study tour to Stuttgart. Delegation members spent five days with business executives, Chamber of Industry and Commerce officials, labor leaders, state government officers and experts in education to understand what goes into creating the highly skilled workforce that has turned Baden-Wuerttemberg into a perennial economic powerhouse. The German state is home to Mercedes Benz and Porsche and a huge network of suppliers in manufacturing. It has no natural resources. Their key resource is their people. Baden-Wuerttemberg leads the European Union Innovation index capturing 4.3% of the world’s total engineering market and outperforming entire nations such as Great Britain (3.1%) or France (4.0%). Unemployment is at 4.0% in Baden-Wuerttemberg as opposed to Germany’s average of 5.9%. Youth unemployment also is dramatically lower.
Much of what the delegation saw connects to Minnesota. Twyla serves as Vice Chair of the Governor’s Workforce Development Counsel and attended the Stuttgart study group as a representative for business and the GWDC. Ongoing dialogue will include business, education and MN government as we determine how and where this German model might be implemented in Minnesota.