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September 24, 2012

U.S. Labor Dept. Announces $175M in Funding to Drive Manufacturing Education and Training Programs

By Calvin Azuri, TMCnet Contributor

In a move which will drive manufacturing education and training programs in numerous community colleges, the United States Department of Labor recently announced a funding in excess of $175 million. Community colleges will be able to use the funds to not only expand their manufacturing education programs, but also grow and improve their course offerings to attract more talented individuals.

The $175 million funding is a part of the $500 million 2012 Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) Grants Program awards.

“With the skills gap in manufacturing at an all-time high, and 600,000 jobs going unfilled as a result, these grants will enable students to earn the skills they need to access and advance in manufacturing jobs,” said Jennifer McNelly, president of The Manufacturing Institute. “It will also support schools in building quality, relevant manufacturing programs that offer individuals industry-based certifications.”

The manufacturing industry is always in need of highly talented individuals with requisite quality-based education and advanced skills. The availability of talented professionals is critical to drive innovation and business success across the industry.

The Manufacturing Institute has been actively involved in a number of communities across the country with the aim of bringing together manufacturers and community and technical colleges to ensure availability of manufacturing talent from across different sections of the society.

Leveraging the newly announced funding, community and technical colleges can effectively align their educational courses to address standards of industry-based credentials. This will help in ensuring that a larger number of talented individuals with the necessary certifications are available to fill in-demand manufacturing positions across the industry.

This funding effectively builds on the efforts of several foundations that focus on expanding manufacturing education avenues across community and technical colleges via the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM)-Endorsed Manufacturing Skills Certification System.

The aim of these programs essentially is to provide employment opportunities to a greater number of Americans, and provide talented individuals with options for advancing their career with better education to fill the growing need within the manufacturing industry. 

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Edited by Braden Becker

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