Creating a Manufacturing Career Pipeline

This is perhaps the finest report of this type I’ve ever seen, and I compliment the team on being bold enough to start small. William Gillespie, Wright State University
Earlier this year, a coalition of manufacturers and educators presented a bold plan for a new pilot program.

The goal was to define and build a more effective pipeline to help students successfully pursue high-skill manufacturing careers.

The plan outlines how the Dayton Foundation, Dayton Region Manufacturers Association, Dayton Public Schools, Sinclair Community College, and various manufacturing companies are collaborating to improve manufacturing education and employment outcomes.

Let's look at a few highlights:

Challenge

The challenge was to find ways to offset students' declining interest and boost the number of qualified minorities in skilled manufacturing and machining careers.

The coalition asked Crossbridge to work with them to clarify the vision, define the strategy and develop a proposal to make the business case to potential funders.

Solution

The solution was to design and implement a structured program that matches students with mentors from manufacturing environments. The strategy leverages existing programs, such as DRMA Regional Bots, and solidifies a seamless pathway from high school to college and careers.

Students benefit, because they learn from experts and gain guided hands-on experiences related to the real world of manufacturing.

Manufacturers benefit, because they help develop and gain direct access to qualified candidates who are technically, professionally and personally prepared for the real world of manufacturing.

Outcome

The funders reviewed the proposal and listened to a short, informal oral presentation. They decided on the spot to back the pilot program and provide funding for immediate launch.

Bottom Line

Whether you're in education or industry, you're likely to find this interesting. Why?

First, any proposal that results in immediate funding is, by definition, effective. The model we created is compact, straightforward and useful in a variety of situations.
 
Second, collaborations between industry and education are a hot topic. The proposal demonstrates one approach that spans industry, education and non-profit agencies.

Third, it presents a powerful mentoring model that could be applied to any group of students and any career-centered education program. Imagine the possibilities.

Finally, it's a useful reminder that sometimes, the boldest course of action is to keep it simple and start small.



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