The Harvard Business Review reported over 9 million open jobs in the U.S. as of late April. While the COVID-19 pandemic attributed to this national record high, our talent pipeline was fractured long before this global crisis.
Throughout the Shenandoah Valley Workforce Development Board region, SVWDB staff are engaged with sub-regional groups that are joining forces to support workforce development.
Answering the call from industry and now in its third cohort of a Cameron Foundation-funded program, Goodwill of Central and Coastal Virginia collaborating with CCWA, provides an eight-week manufacturing technician training course for individuals who want a career with high recruitment and advancement opportunities.
The council’s membership includes CEOs from various industries, senior executives in finance, technology and energy sectors, nonprofit executives representing small businesses, bankers and other public interests, former college presidents, trustees, senior administrators, and current college students.
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.
Participants learned about team building and manufacturing processes by completing a series of hands-on modules designed to teach concepts and processes through experiential learning.
Students learned to apply Lean manufacturing skills to improve “production output” while reducing waste and standardizing operations.
This year, the theme was “FANatics for Innovation,” so teams of participating students designed and built two different types of fans using STIHL components.
Each summer, ITAC and its industry partners sponsor an Advanced Manufacturing and Technology Camp as a new and exciting way to educate local high school students about careers in manufacturing. The goal of this camp is to expose high school students and their parents to these career paths that are in extremely high demand in our area.
The secretary's visit was part of a promotion for the White House's Pledge to America's Workers initiative, a five-year plan to get more companies to offer workforce training and career opportunities for high school students, post-retirement aged workers, and anyone in between.