Compiled By Traci Purdum The best way for students to prepare for a future in manufacturing is to obtain hands-on training. Boston-based Optiant Inc. offers that knowledge in its PowerChain suite, which is being used at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Boston University. The program also can be offered as a corporate learning package. Students enrolled in manufacturing-focused programs leverage the software package to design and monitor supply chains of hypothetical manufacturers. The simulation allows students to create the best supply chains for their theoretical companies based on real-world restrictions and constraints such as supply-side variability and demand-side uncertainty. "Our mission is to prepare students to lead the HPs, Dells and Kodaks of tomorrow," says Stephen C. Graves, the Abraham J. Siegel professor of management science and engineering systems at MIT and a member of Optiant's board of advisors. "Partnerships with technology leaders like Optiant that bring the latest advances in improving supply-chain management ensures that our students are ready to build, manage and maintain world-class manufacturing operations."