FLATE Focus (April 2016)
From the Executive Director’s Desk: Manufacturing Institute’s Roadmap for Manufacturing Education Focusses on Industry-Education Partnerships
Recently I attended the day long meeting in Washington DC of the Education Council of
Manufacturing Institute (MI), the 501c3 arm of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) which is the authority on the attraction, qualification, and development of world-class manufacturing talent. The goals of the institute align with those of NAM, and they work closely together to achieve them. The Institute’s goals are to:
- Change the perception of careers in manufacturing
- Re-establish the U.S. as the global leader of manufacturing education
- Advocate for education and job training policies that strengthen the U.S. manufacturing workforce
The Education Council is composed of nationally-recognized education leaders from all levels of education institutions that meets face to face two/three times per year and virtually in between. Council members and their institutions are committed to delivering high-quality manufacturing education and training programs designed to meet the skill requirements of our nation’s manufacturers. FLATE plays active roles at the local, state and/or national level in shaping and promoting policies designed to promote career and technical education, competency-based education, industry credentials, innovation and applied research. The Manufacturing Institute leverages our expertise and networks to expand and enhance its own broad network of education-business partnerships across the county.
At our recent Ed Council meeting, we reviewed progress made to date around the county in implementing the industry certifications in educational programs as well as industry’s acceptance of those. We also reviewed the strong growth in student engagement activities and programs across the country. Bubbling from the many reports and projects is the fact that it is important to engage more industry and engage them more deeply in promoting manufacturing and working with educators. This will become a focus for much of MI’s work in the coming years. Training and educating manufacturing companies’ executive leaders as well as their operations and human resource professionals to understand the shift in the current workforce needs, the challenges of the changing characteristics of rising generations, and the opportunities they have with community and technical colleges across the country.