Central Massachusetts employers overwhelmingly identify finding and retaining talent as their top challenge. The issue is especially acute in the advanced manufacturing sector, where an anticipated wave of retirements in the coming years is expected to lead to more than 20,000 short-term openings in middle-skill jobs like CNC machinist, quality control technician, and production line worker. These jobs pay a sector average of $39,900 a year and many are accessible with a high school diploma and additional training.
MBAE Affiliate, the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce, is working with Worcester Public Schools to address this challenge. The Chamber’s Introduction to Manufacturing Skills Summer Program will kick off on July 23 with a pilot cohort of up to 15 high school graduates interested in a career in advanced manufacturing. In addition to learning the technical skills needed for entry into the sector – and the opportunity to earn two industry-recognized credentials along the way – they will receive training in workplace skills and career readiness, and a guaranteed interview with a local manufacturer.
“The idea with this four-week program,” explains Chamber president and CEO Tim Murray, “is these students would be able to come out with a couple of certifications and a level of training that would make them desirable and quickly hired by some of the local manufacturers.”
According to Karen Pelletier, vice present of operations and director of education and workforce development for the Chamber, “This program is supported financially by a number of member manufacturers underscoring their need for qualified workers.” The Chamber’s skills program has received support from IPG Photonics, AbbVie, Saint-Gobain, Primetals Technologies, Rand-Whitney, and David Clark.
This is just one of several examples of MBAE Affiliates working proactively with member businesses to address talent needs. Interested to know more about the MBAE Affiliate Network? Please click here to learn more. More information about the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce and its education and workforce efforts is available here.