CACT Receives Project Funding
Advanced Manufacturing Skills Certification Project for Southern California
Under President Bush's High Growth Job Training Initiative one of the 12 critical areas identified for job growth in America was the field of Advanced Manufacturing. The Applied Competitive Technologies Initiative under the Economic and Workforce Development Program has a legislative mandate to support manufacturing through high quality education and services focusing on continuous workforce improvement, technology deployment and business development.
The Centers for Applied Competitive Technologies (CACT) in partnership with California manufacturing industry leaders, California education-based organizations, local Workforce Investment Boards (WIBs) local non-profit entities, and the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC), submitted an unsolicited grant to the Department of Labor that will implement a pilot program to certify the manufacturing skills of entry level, displaced and underemployed production workers in Southern California communities located in San Bernardino, Riverside, Los Angeles and Orange Counties.
CACTs will administer the project and implement the grant work-plan in partnership with co-sponsoring organizations and companies. WIBs and local economic agencies will actively participate in both the process design and implementation assisting those individual who were displaced from prior manufacturing jobs or are currently disadvantaged.
The Advanced Manufacturing Skills Certification Project for Southern California serves a region that represents the highest concentration of manufacturing production in the United States with nearly one million persons gainfully employed in more then 30,000 businesses. During the most recent economic recession this same area had a proportionate and significant decline in manufacturing jobs.From September 1998 through September 2003 there was a decrease of 283,200 manufacturing jobs in California. Of that total, Los Angeles County suffered the most severe impact with a decline of 156,024 jobs, while San Bernardino, Orange and Riverside Counties saw a modest gain of 24,763 jobs; for a net regional loss of 131,261 jobs in Southern California. Jobs, which in the majority were well paid and had provided employee benefits.The initial focus of the skill certification project is to raise the technical competencies and basic skill levels of a population who have had previous experience in manufacturing but due to foreign competition and the advance of technology have been outsourced, downsized, and/or otherwise displaced from their employment.
Procedures:The Centers of Applied Competitive Technologies (CACT) headquartered at San Bernardino Community College District will manage the project, implementing the work-plan in partnership with nine other community colleges, California manufacturing industry leaders, eleven secondary education schools, eight regional Workforce Investment Boards, non-profit entities, and the national Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC), of Washington DC.
Curricula development and teacher training will begin the process then, working in partnerships with local workforce investment boards, one-stops, manufacturers and adult schools, more then 250 displaced and underemployed individuals (initial pilot) will be trained in advanced manufacturing skills and personal competencies then, assessed against the four MSSC Certificate levels available for production employees.
- Establish an industry lead manufacturing advisory committee for oversight and consultation purposes building upon existing industry partnerships
- Garner support within the California manufacturing community for the use of the employer developed MSSC Skill Standard Certifications, demonstrating their use for; hiring, job classification, worker evaluation, quality improvement, and employee advancement through career laddering.
- Develop curriculum and teaching frameworks for incumbent and displaced production workers, allowing worker-trainees to increase their skills and academic competencies.
- Develop curriculum and contextual teaching frameworks for emerging workers and youth programs at both the community college and high school levels.
- Conduct professional development training for high school and college faculties allowing them to deliver the latest programs in advanced high-tech manufacturing.
- Enroll 200 incumbent and 100 dislocated workers in skills advancement programs to demonstrate that worker-trainees can certify in core competencies and in one or more of the four MSSC modules of the Production Concentration.
- Establish assessment centers for third-party assessment of individuals' competencies and create a national online registry for those Certified
- Certify 250 incumbent workers, providing diagnostic feedback and tracking of all individuals in the certification process.
- Provide assistance to community colleges to implement new or revised technical programs meeting the needs of manufacturing employers throughout California
- Develop an accountability process to assess the impact of the system related to employers and employees.
- Document the process used for development and disseminate the model nationally.
|Federal Department of Labor, ETA||- $||1,618,334|
|California Employment Training Panel||- $||400,000|
|In-Kind, businesses, colleges, organizations||- $||1,474,109|
Marshall Gartenlaub, Ph.D.
Applied Competitive Technologies