Creating Educational Pathways for Adult Learners in Minnesota
The Minnesota Advanced Manufacturing Partnership (MnAMP) is a consortium of 12 geographically-dispersed community colleges and two universities from the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System (MnSCU) which was created to help close the skills gap in Minnesota. To address this gap, a 15 million dollar Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) Grant was awarded to the consortium. Led by South Central College, MnAMP brings industry, state leadership, public education, and manufacturing associations together to develop educational pathways that will produce a highly-skilled workforce to meet the needs of the manufacturing industry now and in the future.
MnAMP established the Learn Work Earn project, which targets TAA-eligible workers, veterans and other adult learners. Learn Work Earn focuses on career pathways in advanced manufacturing specific to mechatronics, machining, and welding. These pathways will help grant participants move into education at various points in the process depending on individual skill levels. By providing multiple access points, the program can move participants into programs seamlessly. Participants will also have the opportunity to have their prior education and experience assessed in order to ensure an efficient and timely transition from training to degree completion.
History of Learn Work Earn
Learn Work Earn directly builds on South Central College (SCC) President Dr. Annette Parker’s work on President Obama’s Advanced Manufacturing Partnership (AMP) 2.0 Steering Committee, a “renewed, cross-sector, national effort to secure US leadership in the emerging technologies that will create high-quality manufacturing jobs and enhance America’s global competitiveness.” Throughout 2013–14, AMP 2.0 worked to guide implementation of the 16 recommendations produced by the 2011 AMP Committee. Due to the work of Dr. Parker and SCC on AMP 2.0, as well as the close alignment of the AMP initiative with Learn Work Earn objectives and strategies, the MnAMP partner institutions agreed that SCC is situated and prepared to act as the lead college for this TAACCCT proposal.
Learn Work Earn Strategies for Success
In order to help ensure program success, MnAMP has developed comprehensive strategies to help move adult learners into meaningful, industry-relevant educational pathways and ultimately into the workforce.
Create seamless career pathways in advanced manufacturing that offer stackable and latticed industry-recognized credentials.
- Implement a core curriculum that directly aligns with the Certified Production Technician Certification awarded by Manufacturing Skills Standards Council.
- Develop a consistent competency-based approach to award credit for prior learning that aligns with national industry standards.
- Collaborate with MnSCU Centers of Excellence to expand/refine articulation agreements.
Create/Update academic programs in advanced manufacturing to match employer needs and industry-recognized credentials.
- Align curriculum with National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) endorsed credentials (NCRC, MSSC, NIMS, PMMI and AWS.)
- Engage employers, faculty, and other stakeholders in development of course content, coursework, and learning experiences.
Develop long-term collaborative partnership with manufacturing employers.
- Establish employer-driven apprenticeships and cooperative education programs.
- Provide professional development for employers and other stakeholders to instill the value of industry credentialing.
- Enhance the image of manufacturing and raise awareness of high-wage jobs.
Improve job placement and retention through learner support and wrap around services.
- Implement a plan that emphasizes intrusive advising and job placement services.
- Improve basic academic skills through integrated education (FastTRAC) and occupational English services.