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back to index backAMERItalk September,  2016


America’s Promise to Fund Manufacturing Education

Good as far as it goes, but some hidden resources can do more for manufacturers.

Beginning October 1, thousands of people who want to gain advanced manufacturing skills will be eligible for two years of free college. That’s America’s Promise, a feature of the President’s 2017 budget announced in April. It was funded in June when regional coalitions were invited to apply for grants of up to $6 million each. The winners will be announced in October and the wheels will start turning to prepare future members of the manufacturing workforce.

What America’s Promise means

These America’s Promise Job Driven Training Grants are going to 20 to 40 broad-based coalitions that will build tuition-free programs, not directly to students.

Understand that America’s Promise Job Driven Training Grants aren’t blank checks from the government and will not go directly to students. They are going to 20 to 40 broad-based coalitions that will build the tuition-free programs. The partnerships include employers, economic development agencies, workforce development boards, community and technical college as well as K-12 education systems and other community-based organizations.

An example of one of the hopeful applicants is the Michigan Coalition for Advanced Manufacturing (MCAM). It includes eight community colleges spanning the state that are helping grow a workforce with skills in welding, machining, mechatronics/maintenance and manufacturing production/assembly. MCAM’s community college members are working with local manufacturers that realize they are competing for the same talent in a shrinking pool. They know that making the pool bigger will be better than trying to hire employees away from each other.

What is the role of the manufacturing employers in the coalitions? They will help shape the program by identifying the skills and competencies they need, whether it’s in renewable energy technology, 3D printer operations, computer numeric control (CNC) machining skills or some other trade. They will also contribute by offering apprenticeship, paid work experience and paid internships. The payoff for being part of the coalitions is a stronger pipeline of qualified people to run their operations.

To read entire article, please click here.

Source: Gray - GAI






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