The Community of Learners webinar series occurs on a monthly basis and serves to network state education, economic development, and industry leaders focused on integrating and implementing the NAM-Endorsed Manufacturing Skills Certification System. Webinars are an open learning enviornment that focus on best practices, available tools, policy and practice guidance, resources and sustainability, and other issues.   

Part Two: Putting Employers First, December 2013
What are common roadblocks you are likely to encounter from employers in adopting skills certification? What are pitfalls working with faculty and other practitioners? When can you steer clear of challenges, and are there times when is it best to counter pushback head on? The goal is not just winning the battle, but also winning over allies and skeptics. This engaging webinar will bring a variety of presenters to share how they were able to achieve long-lasting results.

Part One: Putting Employers First, November 2013
Manufacturers need to own the skills gap issue. That means leading innovative partnerships in their communities and examining outdated HR practices in their own companies. But how and when do manufacturers want to be engaged? What are some proven-effective strategies for employer engagement? What do successful models of employer engagement look like? Learn more from experts in this webinar, sponsored by The Manufacturing Institute and the Community College Transformative Change Initiative, led by Office of Community College Research and Leadership  (OCCRL) at the University of Illinois, and The Collaboratory.

Prior Learning Assessment, September 2013
Prior learning assessment (PLA) can help students and workers complete training and degree programs faster and save them money by giving them college credit for knowledge and competencies they’ve gained outside the classroom. During this webinar, national experts will discuss the resources they have available to help you get the most out of PLA strategies – for both individuals and organizations.

Industry Certifications: Who Pays? June 2013
This webinar will focus on the critical topic of sustainability of skills certifications. "Who pays?" is a question every implementation site wrestles with, particularly after grant funding is goes away. Don't miss this valuable opportunity to hear about several viable models that are now operational across the country.

Get Skills to Work for Transitioning Military, April 2013
The Manufacturing Institute previewed the recently launched Get Skills to Work initiative for returning veterans. Every month thousands of service men and women return home, possessing not only an unmatched work ethic but also rigorous technical training and experience. Pioneering manufacturers are leading the effort to bring together entire communities in public-private partnerships to match veterans with employment opportunities. Get Skills to Work has several key components: critical employer partnerships, a skills match made possible through a virtual Military Manufacturing Badge, and just-in-time accelerated training for high-demand skills aligned with industry certifications. The webinar provides an opportunity to learn how you can add this valuable new initiative to your community education and training offerings.

TAACCCT Round 3 Opportunities, March 2013
The Institute believes that highly focused proposals, based on coordinated execution of the NAM-Endorsed Skills Certification System, will have a good chance of success during the third round of TAACCCT grants. This webinar is intended to begin conversation.

Roadmap for Education Reform, February 2013
During this webinar, The Manufacturing Institute shared its next generation Roadmap for Manufacturing Education, Recommendations for Action: Promoting Industry Certifications and Enhancing Two- and Four-Year Articulation. The Roadmap is based on recommendations for action developed by an MI-sponsored roundtable and was released in conjunction with a presentation by Jennifer McNelly to the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) in February. Webinar participants include a representative of AASCU, plus a team from Indiana  highlighting several best practices regarding articulation and transfer of credit as relates to industry certifications in manufacturing programs of study.

Manufacturers Endorsed Education Alliance, December 2012
During the December Community of Learners webinar, The Manufacturing Institute unveiled the Manufacturers Endorsed Education Alliance. The Alliance will represent the nation’s top-of-the-line community colleges, technical schools, K-12 institutions, and universities that deliver credentialed workers to meet the needs of manufacturers in their communities. It also represents the Recognition of Quality for companies looking to hire skilled workers, students and career changers looking to upgrade their skills, and site selection agents looking for a region with a commitment to manufacturing skills. We urged community colleges and their partners in economic development, workforce development, and the private sector to attend this important session, the last of the year.

The Manufacturing Institute: Current State – Future State, November 2012
This webinar will highlight efforts to attract and qualify new workers and to develop talent through the Skills Certification System, buoyed recently by significant federal, foundation and private sector support.   Finally, The Institute team will preview several exciting new partnerships, such as the Get Skills to Work initiative for returning veterans and the Manufacturers Endorsed Education Alliance.

Right Skills Now: Fast Track to Success, October 2012
This webinar is an interactive panel discussion of the Right Skills Now program, an accelerated model designed to meet employer demand and address the skills gap.  This is a “how to” session focused on replicating the successful fast-track model launched last year in Minnesota. In 24 weeks students complete a robust curriculum and a paid internship, earning a National Career Readiness Certificate and four NIMS credentials.

Engines for Action: State Manufacturing Associations Rev Up for Skilled Workers, September 2012
The Manufacturing Institute has provided support to states and communities to address the skills gap and change the image of manufacturing.  There is not doubt that one of the most important levers of change to drive support of a skilled manufacturing workforce are the state and regional manufacturing associations and their foundations.  State associations in New York and Florida have played a major role in championing the alignment of manufacturing education to the Manufacturing Skills Certification System and beginning to change the image of manufacturing in their states though their support of incorporating STEM skills into manufacturing programs, partnering with community colleges, launching image and recruitment campaigns that promote a positive image of manufacturing.

TAACCCT Grant Proposals: Early Action, Greater Result, July 2012
Community colleges from around the nation have recently submitted proposals for the second round of Department of Labor funding for the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) Grant Program.  While we are optimistic that many manufacturing-related proposals will be funded, the partnerships, research, and planning that went into preparation of the grant submissions are in and of themselves important parts of the process of building successful SCS models—and often don’t require waiting for additional funding.  This webinar explores how to leverage the assets and plans uncovered during the TAACCCT submissions to jump start implementation efforts of the SCS. 

Employer Engagement Strategies, June 2012
This webinar takes a closer look at the value of a certified worker and the impact adopting certifications has on an employer's competitiveness and bottom-line. A manufacturer who has adopted certifications into their training for employees discusses how certified workers improved productivity and benefitted employees. A Manufacturing Extension Partnership describes the process used to partner with employers in Northeast Ohio to gain valuable data on certification benefits to productivity.

A Closer Look at Implementation, May 2012
This open-forum, sharing webinar features state strategies and progress updates from leaders in Arizona and Washington.  Education leaders from Washington discuss the implementation of the Skills Certification System at Shoreline Community College and the Washington Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board addresses how Washington is approaching a statewide rollout with a special focus on the importance of the aviation and aerospace industry.  Leaders from Arizona discuss efforts on building statewide certication pathways and share how their grassroots activities have developed into an action plan that has been endorsed and adopted by both business and education entities statewide.

Aligning and Mapping Certifications in Programs of Study, April 2012
This webinar reatures an instructional team from Lorain County Community College as they walk through their on-the-ground processes for aligning curricula with certificaiton requrements relating to: Mechanical Design, Machining, Welding, Quality Assurance and Automation.  This webinar is geared for Instructional Deans, Division Chairs, Instructional Coordinators and relevant faculty tthat are interested in learing hwo the curriculum alignment process can work.

A Closer Look at Implemenation, March 2012
Over the past year, 36 states have begun or continue efforts to implement the Skills Certification System. All are at different points on their journeys. There is no “one size fits all” for implementation, but there is benefit in hearing about the progress, common issues and strategies for success each site has adopted into their plan. This webinar discusses the current state of play regarding national roll-out of the Certification System and a “Year One Progress Report” and facilitated discussion from leaders in Iowa and Nevada.

National Fund for Workforce Solutions: Engaging Industry to Achieve Workplace Credentials and Skilled Certification Pathways, January 2012
The National Fund for Workforce Solutions is collaboration between the nation’s top foundations and a nationwide network of companies, workforce intermediaries, government agencies, and other foundations. The regional collaboratives fund workforce partnerships, which create long-term relationships between employers and service providers. They offer job training and career support that meet the needs of both employees and employers in industry sectors that are critical to local economies.  The Manufacturing Institute holds webinars for regional collaboratives to implement the NAM-Endorsed Manufacturing Skills Certification System as the key focus of their workforce strategy to support Advanced Manufacturing.  This webinar explores approaches to benchmarking the critical workplace traits and occupational skills an individual needs to operate in a workplace driven by productivity and flexibility.

Engaging, Educating, and Employing a STEM-Capable Workforce, November 2011
STEM education couples rigorous academic concepts with real-world lessons to support students in gaining critical skills as: problem-solvers, innovators, inventors, and logical thinkers – all essential skills for modern manufacturing. Alignment of curriculum with third-party, industry-based certifications, which is the keystone of the NAM-endorsed certification. initiative, ensures that critical STEM skills are imbedded into the instructional delivery process. Webinar slides present the NAM-endorsed Skills Certification System and stackable credentials as a “contextualized” STEM learning model that can expand the number of students preparing for the STEM-capable workforce. It demonstrates the policy framework for applied-STEM models in manufacturing education, and an “in practice” presentation highlighting a replicable partnership between the Empire State STEM Education Initiative and Partners in Education and Business an affiliation of Manufacturing Association of Central New York (MACNY).

Engaging Faculty and College Leadership, September 2011
Successful implementation of the Skills Certification System is all about leadership - which can take many different forms and is needed at several different levels. Experience to date underscores the importance of vision and communication from college leadership in getting to action.  While every state and every institution may be at a different point in their implementation journey, one common theme is the critical importance of engaging key faculty and college leaders in support of the certification initiative.  The webinar showcases two different approaches to engaging college and faculty leadership in support of the certification initiative: institutional/state/community leadership and peer-to-peer leadership.

Student Recruitment and Engaging the Pipeline, August 2011
This webinar discusses the importance of student recruitment strategies and how the Institute's main student recruitment tool, Dream It. Do It.(DIDI) links to career pathways in advanced manufacturing.  A strong student recruitment campaign is critical to ensure that the next generation of workers and today’s transitioning workers remain a high-volume, high-quality technical workforce.  DIDI helps generate enthusiasm for manufacturing careers and the message of DIDI links to career pathways that can be leveraged as a strategy to engage manufacturers.  State leaders implementing the Skills Certification System discuss how they are customizing DIDI to leverage and support implementation.

Data Driven Decision Making, July 2011
In July, The Manufacturing Institute hosted a webinar focused on “Data Driven Decision Making.” The purpose of this webinar is to demonstrate an economic data analysis can be used as a tool to drive decision making and implementing the NAM-Endorsed Manufacturing Skills Certification System. The webinar highlights a template developed by Chmura Economics and Analytics to inform states and regions about their current and future economic drivers and how this data can be used as rationale for implementing the Skills Certification System.

Responding to the President's Call for Action, June 2011
President Obama hosted an event on June 8, 2011 at the Northern Virginia Community College Alexandria Campus focused on building the educated and skilled manufacturing workforce in the U.S. and cited the NAM-Endorsed Skills Certification System as a national solution. This was a monumental event and the June 2011 webinar discusses how to best leverage press coverage and heightened interest from President Obama's address for states planning to implement the Skills Certification System. Emily DeRocco, President, The Manufacturing Institute, facilitate the discussion.

Employer Engagement Strategies, May 2011
The May 25, 2011 Community of Learners webinar focuses on employer engagement strategies in Indiana and the commitment to adopt the NAM-Endorsed Manufacturing Skills Certification System from statewide, regional and local perspectives.

A Case Study of Implementation in Ohio, April 2011
The April 27, 2011 Community of Learners webinar focuses on the Lorain County Community College model for employer engagement and the critical role employers played in helping to shape curriculum and align with industry certification requirements in Northeast Ohio.

A Case Study of Implementation in Texas, March 2011
The March 23, 2011 Community of Learners webinar examines how the Alamo Academies' Advanced Technology and Manufacturing Academy uses the NAM-Endorsed Manufacturing Skills Certification system to train the next generation workforce by providing high school students college credits and exposure to occupations in advanced manufacturing.

A Case Study of Implementation in North Carolina, February 2011
The February 16, 2011 Community of Learners webinar looks at the business case for adopting the NAM -Endorsed Manufacturing Skills Certification System in the Winston-Salem, NC region. The business case is a tool that a regional leader can use to position their region with the competitive advantage needed to retain and attract next generation manufacturing firms and develop local talent to access high-wage careers in emerging manufacturing industries.

Introduction to the Community of Learners Webinar Series, February 2, 2011
This webinar forum is an open learning environment for those moving to implementation helping states to:

  • Strategize when there are barriers
  • Bring forward islands of excellence
  • Network among states
  • Update the group on deployment activities
  • Support and discuss strategies for responses to the TAACCCT solicitation for grant applications


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