Twenty adult students joyfully completed seven months of intensive training in advanced manufacturing for electronics and machining and received certificates of completion at a recent graduation ceremony. Eight already have job offers from businesses where they completed internships.
The initiative is a unique collaboration between North Shore Community College (NSCC), Peabody Veterans Memorial High School, Essex Technical High School, the North Shore Career Center, Career Source, Career Place, the North Shore and Metro North Workforce Investment Boards, and 14 machining and electronics employers.
This partnership is part of the Northeast Advanced Manufacturing Consortium, which was created to address the ever-increasing need to strengthen and support the manufacturing industry, as it is critical to the economy of the Northeast region. Primarily the partnership seeks to address the employer challenge of finding, maintaining and nurturing a skilled workforce that can continually learn and grow in depth and scale.
“This unprecedented collaboration bridges the worlds of higher education, secondary vocational education, the workforce development system, and, most important, the employer community,” said Dr. Dianne Palter Gill, NSCC Dean of Corporate and Community Education. “Working together, the community colleges and our partners have created an education, training, and employment model that addresses the needs of the state’s all-important advanced manufacturing sector.”
This program is part of a regional collaborative grant awarded by the Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund, administered by Commonwealth Corporation and also supported by the Workforce Investment Act funding.
Graduates participated in a two-part training – foundational skills, which took place at the community college and hands-on, experiential learning at the vocational schools. Employer partners provided company tours, job shadowing, and internships. Students also took advantage of specialized support services, including achievement coaching, advising, tutoring, and math support.
“Overall this high-touch model allows for individualized and holistic learning that ensures that all of the student’s needs are being met. The high employment success rate of the participating students demonstrates the value of this approach,” said Mary Sarris, Executive Director of the NS WIB. “We believe we can run this program for the next five years and still not be able to keep up with the demand for skilled labor.”
Project participants were recruited through career centers. There was no cost to the students.
“This program has already changed my life for the better,” said graduate Robert L. Pedrosa. “I have a newfound confidence and love of learning. I want to continue on with my schooling so that I can improve my life and that of my friends and family. I know a lot of hard work and effort was put into this program behind the scenes in order to make it work and I am very grateful.”
Nancy Snyder, President and CEO of the Commonwealth Corporation, noted, “Congratulations, you’ve all worked so very hard. It can be very difficult to return to school, but you persisted and stuck with it and here you are graduating today. I encourage you to continue to work and learn so that you can really advance in this high demand field.”
Peabody: Joseph Casey and Thomas Whitten, Machining
Nicholas Ryan, Electronics
Salem: Robert Pedrosa, Electronics
J. William Geary, Machining
Revere: Nicholas Giliberti, Te’rah Husbands, and David Jeglinski, Electronics
Lynn: Joseph Miller and Ken Russell, Machining,
William Morin and Ricky Rosario, Electronics
Saugus: Darlene Igoe, Electronics
Winthrop: Dominique Iviquel, Electronics
Beverly: Robert McHugh, Machining
Methuen: Timothy Menihane, Electronics
Melrose: Terrance O’Brien, Machining
Somerville: James Sanon, Machining
Danvers: James Schaffaval, Electronics
Dedham: Sherry Walker, Electronic