DACC launching training for manufacturing employees with $360,000 federal grant

DACC launching training for manufacturing employees with $360,000 federal grant

DANVILLE — Danville Area Community College will launch a new training opportunity for manufacturing employees thanks to a $360,000 federal grant.

The Industrial Career Pathways program, funded by the three-year-long grant, will provide short-term training opportunities for up to 75 unemployed and incumbent manufacturing employees.

"The intent is to build a sustainable, competency-based program to support local manufacturers," said Brian Hensgen, executive director of workforce development at DACC. "We're helping local industry, and we're helping to train people for good jobs. The training will be customized according tot he unique needs of the manufacturing companies throughout the region."

The program will be available to at least 50 dislocated workers or those living in poverty. The other 25 will be currently employed.

It will provide a 40-hour mechanical skills curriculum and an OSHA 10-hour general industry credential and can be customized further to include Lean Manufacturing and basic communications skills.

Participants who complete the program not only achieve a score for mechanical troubleshooting ability, but also earn the ACT National Career Readiness Certificate to verify they possess the essential skills needed for a career in manufacturing.

Part of the grant funding goes toward the purchase of training modules and specialized equipment, such as a Standard Timing Model, a machine that can assess the aptitude of prospective employees and train current employees. Developed by New Hampshire-based Scientific Management Techniques. The assessment machine also identifies many mechanical skills and an individual's ability to troubleshoot mechanical problems they may encounter on the job.

"The assessment machine can also be used to identify mechanical skills and competencies for employees in manufacturing companies, including maintenance professionals, machine operators, electromechanical personnel, assemblers and technicians," said Stephanie Yates, DACC's director of corporate education. "There are varying degrees of assessment difficulty depending on the manufacturing company's special needs. The program is 100-percent customizable."

DACC plans to launch the program by the summer. Over the next few weeks, the college will bring in Scientific Management Techniques trainers to provide demonstrations for regional manufacturers and the public. Officials said DACC will be able to sustain the program well beyond the three-year life of the grant.

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