This years Workforce Solutions Symposium featured Catherine Conlon, a recent graduate from Wilson Workforce and Rehabilitation Center's Manufacturing Technology Training (MTT) program, a Division of the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services, along with her instructor, Steve Sweeney, and Debby Hopkins from the Shenandoah Valley Workforce Development Board.
In recent years, companies have realized that individuals with disabilities are a great source of talent. Chris Hall works as an industrial manufacturing registered apprentice (IMTA) within his job as a production operator on the “almond job-snack size” line at the Hershey plant in Stuarts Draft, Virginia.
One would be quite surprised to learn of all the products manufactured in the Roanoke region that ship all over the world. Night vision goggles used by our military and police forces. Fiber optic cable following oil wells thousands of feet underground, and feeding cell towers our calls and data. Control systems for wind turbines. Railroad cars and braking systems. Keyless entry systems. Fine jewelry. Custom circuit boards. Medical devices, Automotive transmission components, tires and truck chassis. The list goes on and on.
"There's no time for boredom," ITAC Business Development Director Rachel Pest said. "We keep them very busy during this week and they're thoroughly enjoying the competition. And they're getting into running their company and their brand and making sure they have the best quality product."
Learn more about Career Pathways for Individuals with Disabilities and how provides the opportunity to gain credentials and training that will lead to a livable wage and career.
The idea for the Manufacturing Technician Level 1 certification training course was born during a meeting of community leaders, including the governor’s office, as part of Nevada’s Working Capital initiative.
The hard work is up to the first class of 24 high school seniors, who will take coursework and a final exam giving them the opportunity to earn the Manufacturing Technician Certification (MT1).
Several facilities in the Halifax County town will be a part of the Manufacturing Skills Institute (MSI), an initiative sponsored by the Virginia Manufacturers Association and ECPI University.
The Virginia Manufacturers Association is partnering with ECPI University to create a hub for manufacturing education and training in Southside Virginia to help align regional employer needs and economic development objectives.