To fulfill the recommendations within the January 2013, Boston Consulting Group (BCG) report, the Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission (TRRC) in partnership with the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CCAM) initiated a project to fund three Centers of Excellence (CoE’s) for advanced manufacturing workforce training.
Per the recommendations of the BCG report, three workgroups for Curriculum, Resources , and Marketing were formed and convened in August and November 2013. The meetings provided the frame work for a Request of Proposals (RFP) document which was released in January 2014. Proposals were received in April 2014 and the three regional CoEs that have been designated by the Commission in 2014 are based at the New College Institute in Martinsville, Southern Virginia Higher Education Center in South Boston and the Southwest Virginia Alliance for Manufacturing in Abingdon. All three Centers will serve multi-county areas through partnerships with community colleges and other education providers. Each CoE has been initially funded with grants of $2 million each.
The CoE's will focus on three main job classifications: They are broadly identified as 1) machinists, 2) welders, and 3) industrial machinery mechanics. CoE's will provide curriculum and training programs that produce students that achieve industry recognized certifications,. such as NIMS for machinists, AWS for welding, and Siemens and/or NIMS for industrial mechanics. The targeted industries include but are not limited to aerospace, automotive, and heavy machinery manufacturers. CoE's are specifically targeted at medium-skilled training (above basic or entry level) for advanced manufacturing jobs that are defined in part as requiring either significant experience or significant on-the-job training.
The industry recognized certifications are third party verifications of skills and will be the most critical measure of success. By the third year of operation, each funded CoE will need to produce 70 to 80 students per year who achieve an above basic certification in one of the three ob classifications identified split by the approximate ratio of 50% machining professionals, 28% welding professionals and 22% industrial maintenance mechanics.
Interested parties are invited to call or write TRRC and CCAM contact for additional information.
Workforce Plan Final Report
Advance Manufacturing Workforce Plan Presentation