U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao Announces Over $1.6 Million to Certify Southern California Workers in Advanced Manufacturing Skills
San Francisco, November 2, 2007
U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao announced today a grant of over $1.6 million to the San Bernardino Community College District to equip workers in Southern California with certified training in manufacturing skills.
The grant is part of a $24.2 million advanced manufacturing worker training effort under the President's High Growth Job Training Initiative, which is helping workers find and prepare for jobs in America's fastest growing industries. "There are many opportunities for skilled workers in the manufacturing sector," said Chao. "This grant will provide certified training for workers to gain career enhancing skills in advanced manufacturing industries."The San Bernardino Community College District will implement a pilot program to certify the manufacturing skills of production workers in four Southern California counties - San Bernardino, Riverside, Los Angeles and Orange.
The project will assess and train 480 new and incumbent workers who will receive a Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC) credential. MCSS is a nationwide, industry-based skills standards, assessment and certification system for all sectors of manufacturing. In partnership with more then 40 companies, local trade associations, the public workforce system and MSSC, the Centers for Applied Competitive Technologies (CACT) of the California Community Colleges lead by Dr. Marshall Gartenlaub will also utilize this grant to test a new national skills certification process.
The project will incorporate revised curricula for advanced manufacturing education and training and, will support faculty development for career and technical programs at high schools, ROPs and community colleges throughout Southern California.
"Standardizing skills and creating career ladders for American workers will help the manufacturing industry stay vibrant," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employment and Training Emily Stover DeRocco. "This partnership between the public workforce investment system, industry and education will provide businesses with skilled workers and serve as a model for advanced manufacturing training programs throughout the country."
Through the President's High Growth Job Training Initiative, the Department of Labor has been conducting executive forums with leaders of expanding industries to identify critical workforce gaps and issues. Solutions, like today's grant, are then created in cooperation with employers, education and the public workforce system.