New National Education Council Focuses on Manufacturing Workforce

Oct. 29, 2008
Council will design regional manufacturing talent development systems

Dr. Roy Church, president, Lorain County Community College in Elyria, Ohio, is one of 26 charter members from across the country named to the first-ever national Education Council focused on expanding and enhancing the manufacturing workforce. The Council held its inaugural meeting in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 29.

"In these difficult economic times, we must create new educational pathways to help more individuals prepare for high-paying manufacturing jobs and, in turn, help our companies compete in world markets," said Emily DeRocco, president of The Manufacturing Institute and former U.S. assistant secretary of labor for employment and training.

The council will focus on issues as wide-ranging as identifying solutions to address the adult literacy crisis, designing regional manufacturing talent development systems, creating 21st century career and technical education programs and advancing innovation in the manufacturing economy, said DeRocco.

"As international competition intensifies, U.S. manufacturers are having a difficult time finding qualified people to replace the retiring baby boom generation in increasingly sophisticated, high-tech jobs. The skills shortages are having a widespread impact on the ability of manufacturers to achieve production levels, increase productivity and meet customer demands. With more highly-skilled and qualified people, manufacturers could create more jobs with family-sustaining wages," she said.

Representing K-12, community and technical colleges and 4-year colleges and universities, the educators and officials were tapped by The Manufacturing Institute to assist in developing national strategies to keep the American manufacturing workforce globally competitive and create more high-paying jobs. The Manufacturing Institute is the research, education and workforce arm of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM).

View the Education Councils charter members at www.nam.org/EducationCouncil.

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