National Manufacturing Day

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Jacqueline Belrose, MWCC Vice President of Lifelong Learning and Workforce Development; President Daniel M. Asquino, Thatcher Kezer, Senior Vice President of MassDevelopment, Devens; Melissa Fetterhoff, President of the Nashoba Valley Chamber of Commerce; Dennis Bunnell, chair of MWCC’s Advanced Manufacturing Advisory Board; advisory board member John Gravelle, CEO of Sterling Manufacturing; State Rep. Susannah Whipps-Lee; and advisory board member Fred Flohr, Senior Director of Operations for Georgia Pacific Dixie Business.

Mount Wachusett Community College celebrated National Manufacturing Day on Oct. 2 with a free expo featuring demonstrations, speakers and tours of its Manufacturing Workforce Certification Center and Devens campus.

The third annual networking and informational event brought together industry representatives, educators and students who toured the manufacturing and skills-training labs and participated in hands-on demonstrations. The event was sponsored, in part, through a Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT III) grant from the U.S. Department of Labor.

“We are proud to once again sponsor an event in recognition of National Manufacturing Day to raise awareness about the job opportunities available in North Central Massachusetts and the industry partnerships that actively work to close the gap between trained workers and employer needs,” said President Daniel M. Asquino.

Later this fall and winter, the college will acquire an additional $430,000 worth of training equipment through the TAACCCT grant, including portable training devices that address the fundamentals of automated manufacturing processes, he said. The equipment will be brought to schools, businesses and other locations for on-site instruction.

National Manufacturing Day was established in 2012 to help change public perception of manufacturing and underscore the shortage of skilled workers in Massachusetts and in the country. Featured speakers at MWCC’s event included Thatcher Kezer, MassDevelopment’s senior vice president of Devens, and State Representative Susannah Whipps-Lee of Athol.

Representative Whipps-Lee, co-owner of Whipps, Inc,. a company founded by her father that designs and builds equipment for the wastewater industry, shared how the family business grew from a small start-up with two employees and $1,800 in annual sales to 70 employees and $28 million in sales by investing in their workforce through local training programs.

“We have always relied on our local educational institutions to help us grow our business. Mount Wachusett Community College has always been the go ‘go-to’ place as far as how we can help our local industries, how we can help our local hospitals get the skilled workforce they need,” she said.

“The Commonwealth understands the needs of business and the needs of our workforce and how we can gather people together to get them trained. Our delegation in central Massachusetts is very dedicated to the workforce and the people in this part of the state.”

Mr. Kezer noted the progress being made in the region and in the state to identify longstanding infrastructure issues, such as transportation, to expand opportunity for workers.

Demonstrations throughout the morning included CAD design & 3-D printing, mechatronics, a manufacturing aptitude challenge, biotechnology and quality.

Manufacturing partnerships awards were presented to members of MWCC’s Advanced Manufacturing Advisory Board by Jacqueline Belrose, Vice President of Lifelong Learning and Workforce Development, and board chair Dennis Bunnell. Recipients include: Tom Clay of Xtalic Corp; Fred Flohr of Georgia-Pacific Dixie Business; Mark Freeman of Steel-Fab, Inc.; Leo Gibbons of H.C. Starck, Inc.; Eamonn Goold of Bristol-Myers Squibb; John Gravelle of Sterling Manufacturing; Eric Longo of Bemis Associates, Inc.; Raymond Martino of Simonds International; Steven Rocheleau of Rocheleau Tool and Die Co. Inc.; Tim Sappington of the North Central MA Workforce Investment Board; Kelly Schick of Bristol-Myers Squibb; John Witkowski of Nypro-Jabil Healthcare; and Melissa Fetterhoff of the Nashoba Valley Chamber of Commerce.

advanced manufacturingMount Wachusett Community College will celebrate the third annual National Manufacturing Day on Oct. 2 with a free event featuring demonstrations, guest speakers and tours of the college’s Manufacturing Workforce Certification Center and Devens campus.

Manufacturing Day was established in 2012 to help change public perception of manufacturing and underscore the shortage of skilled workers in Massachusetts and in the country. MWCC’s celebration provides an opportunity for the public to learn about Massachusetts manufacturing initiatives involving the college’s business partners, as well as view and participate in demonstrations showcasing current and upcoming programs.

The event begins at 8:30 a.m. with registration and a light breakfast, followed by welcoming remarks from MWCC President Daniel M. Asquino and a presentation of manufacturing partnerships awards by Jacqueline Belrose, MWCC Vice President of Lifelong Learning and Workforce Development, and Dennis Bunnell, chair of the college’s Advanced Manufacturing Advisory Board.

Featured speakers include Thatcher Kezer, MassDevelopment’s senior vice president of Devens, and State Representative Susannah Whipps-Lee. Demonstrations from 10:30 to noon will include CAD design & 3-D printing, mechatronics, a manufacturing aptitude challenge, biotechnology and quality. Information about MWCC’s manufacturing training programs and admissions will also be available.

Serving as a networking and informational event, the expo brings together industry representatives and job seekers. Attendees can tour the manufacturing and skills-training labs and participate in hands-on exercises and individual information sessions. The event is being sponsored, in part, through a Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT III) grant from the U.S. Department of Labor.

“We are proud to once again sponsor an event in recognition of National Manufacturing Day to raise awareness about the job opportunities available in North Central Massachusetts and the industry partnerships that actively work to close the gap between trained workers and employer needs,” said President Daniel M. Asquino.

MWCC offers a variety of credit and noncredit STEM programs at its Devens campus, including the Advanced Manufacturing Industry Readiness Training program, Quality Systems Training, the Analytical Laboratory & Quality Systems and Mechatronics certificate programs, and associate degree and academic certificate programs in biotechnology/biomanufacturing.

To register, call the Devens campus at 978-630-9569 or email devens2@mwcc.mass.edu.

 

Approximately 100 members of the North Central Massachusetts business community joined Mount Wachusett Community College to celebrate the second annual National Manufacturing Day on Oct. 4 and the opening of the Manufacturing Workforce Certification Center at the college’s Devens campus.

Mount Wachusett Community College hosted an open house and ribbon cutting ceremony at its Devens campus during the second annual National Manufacturing Day on Oct. 4 Pictured, from left Nashoba Valley President and CEO Melissa Fetterhoff, MWCC Devens campus director Julie Crowley, MWCC workforce development staff Bill Blais, John Henshaw, and Vice President Jacqueline Belrose, MWCC President Daniel Asquino, Liz Penney, director of member services and programs for the Greater Gardner Chamber of Commerce, and Kerrie Griffin of MWCC.

The open house, also sponsored by Mass Development, Amp it Up, and the Nashoba Valley Chamber of Commerce, also included exhibitions and displays as well as a presentation by Dr. John R. Mullin, associate director of the Center for Economic Development at UMass Amherst, sponsored by the North Central Massachusetts Economic Development Council in partnership with the Manufacturing CEO Roundtable.

The development of the center has been made possible through the Massachusetts Community Colleges and Workforce Development Transformation Agenda, which is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor through its TAACCCT program. The center provides industry-recognized assessments to companies looking to evaluate current and potential staff in the areas of mechanical, electrical and programmable logic circuitry skills. Other assessments including the nationally recognized WorkKeys program are available to employers. Curriculum designed to meet specific incumbent worker training needs is also available, as is the ability to work with companies to develop grant proposals for training through the state Workforce Training Fund.

In addition, the center provides space and tools to provide hands-on experience to participants seeking skills recognized by industry as critical to their success, as well as a venue for industry meetings and workshops and a resource to the region.

New short-term training programs that lead to industry credentials including OSHA certification and the National Career Readiness Certification were recently added to the Devens campus offerings. Applications for a new training session beginning this month are now being accepted.

The need for more advanced training in the area of analytical testing and quality control and assurance has been recognized by a recently announced award from the National Science Foundation to Mount Wachusett that will enable the college to develop programming that will lead to a new credit degree in Analytical and Quality Technology.