Four Selected as Benchmark Talent Development Programs in the Great Lakes

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Media Release: Great Lakes Manufacturing Council

June 12, 2014, Detroit: Four manufacturing talent development programs were selected for special recognition at The Big M by the Great Lakes Manufacturing Council’s Talented Workforce Initiative from among nearly 30 benchmark programs submitted to the Council. 

Representing the eastern part of the Great Lakes region on the U.S. side, the Manufacturing Technologies Open Entry/Open Exit program was recognized for its continuous enrollment, flexible scheduling and on-line offerings for workers, and for its flexible modules that can be matched to individual employers’ needs.  The program is housed at the West Shore Community College in Scottville, Michigan and has seen a 40% increase in students since 2011.

In the western part of the Great Lakes region on the U.S. side, honors went to the Advancing Manufacturing program sponsored by Ivy Tech Community College – Corporate College in Lafayette, Indiana.  The initiative is a major regional multi-sector partnership integrated with economic development programs in northwest Indiana.  The program focuses on MSSC Certified Production Technicians, has produced 179 graduates, and has 191 currently enrolled.

In Canada, the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program in Windsor, Ontario was singled out for its true apprenticeship approach that begins in grade 11 and features a year of full-time employment at a manufacturer, as well as high school credits, apprenticeship wages, and competencies toward trade certification.  There have been hundreds of graduates since 1989.  Sponsored by the Greater Essex County School Board, the program is dedicated to convincing parents that manufacturing is a viable career.

At the national level in the U.S., the Certified Production Technician program sponsored by the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC) received the award for its industry led training, assessment and certification process that ensures the core technical competencies of high skilled production workers.  The program features five production modules and has produced more than 40,000 Certified Production Technician credentials, with over 50% of those in the Great Lakes states.

Ed Wolking, Jr., president of the Council, noted that the programs are as diverse in their design and approach as the workers and employers they serve and represented the diversity and quality of all the programs that were nominated.  “The selections were a challenge for the judges,” Wolking said, “because the quality of all the programs was so high.  These four are exemplary of all the others.”

Following the awards, the nominees entered a reception and dialogue to share their experiences and learn from one another.  The programs of all the nominees will be listed on the website of the Great Lakes Manufacturing Council in the coming weeks, intended to serve as both an example of the forward-looking commitment to developing manufacturing talent in the bi-national Great Lakes region and as benchmarks for other workforce initiatives in the region.

About the Great Lakes Manufacturing Council

The Great Lakes Manufacturing Council is a bi-national organization dedicated to the success of manufacturing in the Great Lakes Region.  Membership in the Council is open to all who share that goal.  The Council covers the provinces of Quebec and Ontario, and the states of New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota.  It is organized as a 501(c)3 non-profit and includes manufacturing organizations, chambers of commerce, economic development organizations, government agencies, colleges and universities.

The Council's vision is that the Great Lakes Region will be one of the top two manufacturing centers in the world.  Its mission is to maintain and increase the competitive advantage for manufacturing and preserve the prosperity of the Great Lakes Region.  The Council focuses on image, innovation, talent and workforce, borders and logistics, and public policy and is the originator of the description of the Great Lakes trading area as the fourth largest economy in the world.

Media Contact:
Ed Wolking
Executive Vice President, Detroit Regional Chamber and President, GLMCouncil
P. 313-964-4000 / 313-596-0304
C. 313-909-0832