The auditorium at the Radisson Valley Forge Casino Hotel was packed on January 26. Many were business owners and manufacturing executives eager to hear more about how they can reap the benefits of a new apprenticeship program that shows real promise.
David Tilstone, President of the NTMA said,
I have not visited any region in the US that has such readily available and qualified resources for an apprenticeship program. The energy and commitment from attendees at the conference was quite remarkable and should provide a strong platform to get the program started. I was especially pleased with the large turn out of manufacturers with a large majority committing to participate. The NTMA is proud to be part of this effort.
Apprenticeship Programs That Work
If you happened to miss the event last Tuesday, here is a short sound bite from John Shegda, Owner of M&S Grinding in Hatboro PA about why this new program will work…
Key elements of interest to most manufacturers were:
- Pre-Apprentiship Programs are already in place, and can easily be replicated
- More than 40 organizations already committed their support
- Competency Based Model (video) – not time-based
- Customized Job Training to meet local needs
- State Funding (through CareerLink) will apply to many candidates
- No Journeyman required on staff to oversee Apprentices (“mentor” is required)
- 3rd Party Administrator minimizes paperwork for employers
- NIMS credentialing system in place for standardization of skills.
As you heard on the video, we will need local manufacturers to buy into the program by getting involved in the customization process, helping to work out the details and investing some company resources to see these initial phases through.
Download this document to express your level of interest
The Return on Your Investment?
- A younger, more engaged workforce
- A robust pipeline of skilled workers
- A stronger manufacturing community by working together
- A revitalized industry that can be sustained with brighter ideas from younger minds
- Growth in American Made Products
Apprenticeship Grants in PA
By working with our regional Workforce Investment Boards, Economic Development Councils and our local educational institutions, the chances are good that this new program will have the substance required to win additional funding from state and federal budgets. But before we go there, we will need to launch a program that works and iron out the kinks that are sure to appear.
PA CareerLink for our region (Bucks Works; Montco Works) will be doing their part to financially support Advanced Manufacturing applicants as they get enrolled into the right training programs offered by community colleges and technical schools. And these funds will follow the individual applicants through the training process which also act as a type of vetting process for our advanced apprenticeship program.
If a student completes a program like these offered by Bucks County Community College: Advanced Manufacturing Courses, they are probably a good candidate for an apprenticeship program.
Flexibility for Future Development
The intention is to build a flexible program that can be applied to all areas of manufacturing, not just metalworking. But we need a place to start so the National Institute of Metalworking Skills offers standardized credentials for 52 different disaplines…that is a good place to start.
There is plenty of work to see this vision through. Please share your comments and questions in the coment section below and I will do my best to get you answers from the leadership team.
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