Creating a High School Pipeline for the Next Generation of Manufacturing Employees
Madisonville Community College and the Hopkins County Career Technology Center are collaboratively delivering a manufacturing certificate program that prepares students for the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council's (MSSC) Certified Production Technician exam and employment as process technicians. The project's intellectual merit lies in attracting high school students into manufacturing education, which research suggests they and their parents are not presently considering. The dual credit manufacturing program is familiarizing students with modern manufacturing and changing their perceptions regarding its desirability as a career. The project's broader impact involves the dissemination of improved marketing techniques that are increasing the number of students enrolling in postsecondary STEM-based manufacturing programs, entering the STEM workforce, and pursing further STEM education. The project is also evaluating a modularized curriculum and hybrid online delivery model that effectively shares complex, expensive technician training resources between secondary and postsecondary educational institutions and efficiently allocates faculty time and effort. This model is especially impactful for smaller secondary and postsecondary institutions in rural settings with limited human and fiscal resources who wish to launch innovative technical programming.
The project is evaluating the effectiveness of MCC's marketing of its manufacturing curricula to high school students and making adjustments as necessary. It is also evaluating the use of experiential advising techniques such as industry mentoring. Additionally, it is using a "hybrid" online delivery model for dual credit programming that effects operational benefits for both partners. Finally, it advances the partners' existing efforts to address workplace readiness skills such as effective self-management, communication skills, teamwork, dependability and work ethic.