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 !