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Paul Turner

Implementation Facilitator

Bluegrass Community & Technical College

Bluegrass Community and Technical College has been part of a collaborative effort with the Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education, known as Kentucky FAME, to develop an Advanced Manufacturing Technician (AMT) program. The approach involves selecting Kentucky high school students to intern with Toyota. They spend two days a week in the classroom and three days a week in the plant learning from the technicians. They learn core skills and behavioral skills important for a career in advanced manufacturing. This program has been so successful that Toyota hopes to see it implemented in all five of their manufacturing locations around the country.

Read the full Insight story.

Paul Turner

Implementation Facilitator

Bluegrass Community & Technical College

Bluegrass Community and Technical College has been part of a collaborative effort with the Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education, known as Kentucky FAME. In the last two years, our 16 members have collaboratively developed the advanced manufacturing technician program.

Our approach involves interns selected from all the high schools in the state of Kentucky. The interns spend two days a week in a manufacturing-type classroom, which is equipped similar to what they will find out on the factory floor. Then they spend three days per week working in the factory with technicians.

The first semester the interns are put in production so that they learn how to run the equipment and learn about the standard manufacturing practice at Toyota. The next semester, as they begin to assimilate some of the skills, they take some of their basic electrical classes, and then move into troubleshooting. Essentially, the interns are rotated from one end of the plant to the other. After four semesters of work experience these folks are really job-ready.

Another key to our program is a series of what Toyota Manufacturing calls “core skills.” It is also called lean manufacturing, and includes safety culture, 5S, workplace organization, problem solving, and maintenance reliability. It also includes a series of behaviors, which is what we’d normally think of as a work ethic: attendance, communications, diligence, teamwork, initiative, and interpersonal relationships.

Each day, as part of their training program at the beginning and at the end of every instructed hour, the students go through a brief rehearsal of several of these skills to keep it in front of them continually. These soft skills may be the answer to what the industry needs today.

We feel that this program has the potential to benefit manufacturing everywhere in the United States because we are defining what manufacturing education should be. We are also dedicated to perfecting our training to continue setting the standard for manufacturing education. Toyota, who is our regional partner, hopes to see the same program implemented in all five of their manufacturing locations around the country.

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Gary Saganski

Associate Dean of Industrial Technology

Henry Ford College

The Multi-State Advanced Manufacturing Consortium (M-SAMC) relies heavily on industry input to create learning experiences based on the actual needs of manufacturers. The message that manufacturing educators have been receiving from industry for some time now is that entry level employees must walk in the door with foundation organizational skills. We’re focused on bridging the skills gap by developing learning models that emphasize competence as defined by the needs of industry. The challenge before us is enormous, but we are hoping that the work of the Consortium will help reform manufacturing education to ensure a better and faster success rate for our graduates.

Read the full Insight story.

Gary Saganski

Associate Dean of Industrial Technology

Henry Ford College

The Multi-State Advanced Manufacturing Consortium is a public/private partnership that relies heavily on industry input to create learning experiences based on the actual needs of manufacturers. My Consortium colleagues and I explore innovative methods that, as much as possible, replicate actual work experiences.

The message that manufacturing educators have been receiving from industry for some time now is that entry level employees must walk in the door with foundation organizational skills, like the ability to function as part of a team, and being responsible to the team. And now thanks to our industry partners, the Consortium understands that very well. We recognize that American manufacturers today are technologically sophisticated and rely on a workforce that understands integrated manufacturing systems. A well-developed curriculum that is informed by industry and implemented by trained instructors with motivated students can produce the workforce needed for American manufacturers to compete globally.

I don’t think anyone better understands the incredibly fast pace of change occurring today in American manufacturing than our industry partners. But the colleges have been ill-equipped to provide students with the necessary learning and experience to hit the factory floor running. It takes an entire campus to implement a sustainable re-design. The good news is that key sectors – governmental, industrial and academic – are joining forces to address this challenge.

The Consortium is comprised of 13 community colleges and more than 40 industrial partners across ten states. We’re focused on bridging the skills gap by developing learning models that emphasize competence as defined by the needs of industry. We’re structuring our learning environments to accelerate our students’ learning by providing real-world context through project-based learning on real world equipment. We’re re-thinking student support systems and administrative processes within our colleges to ensure a better and faster success rate for our graduates as well.

The challenge before us is enormous, but we are hoping that the work of the Consortium will help reform manufacturing education. Already we see the fruits of our labor when Consortium partner Tennessee College of Applied Technology received significant state funding to build the new TCAT Nissan Training Center. The new facility will be located adjacent a Nissan plant, physically illustrating the critical importance of college/industry collaboration. Hopefully, this is the first of many achievements made possible in part by our Consortium.

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Marv Crowe

Implementation Facilitator

Spartanburg Community College

Competency-based education utilizes gap analysis as a key tool to compare the skills needed by manufacturers with the skills being taught by educational institutions. The results are used to inform the college, and faculty, of modifications needed in the educational process. The results also allow for the effective planning and investment of instructional and lab resources. The competency-based education program at Spartanburg Community College uses a checklist of performance-based objectives to verify a student’s competence meets industry standards. This idea of a checklist was initially introduced mirroring Navy tactics, where a sailor would have to go through a “practical factor list” in order to qualify for promotion. It was from that Navy mentality that the robotics course checklist was born at Spartanburg Community College.

Read the full Insight story.

Marv Crowe

Implementation Facilitator

Spartanburg Community College

In our consortium, a key tool of competency-based education is a gap analysis. This is an in depth survey that contrasts the skills needed by manufacturing with the skills acquired by the student from the curriculum. The results are used to inform the college, and faculty, of modifications needed in the educational process. This data also allows for the effective planning and investment of instructional and lab resources.

In our program at Spartanburg, we have essentially incorporated a checklist of performance-based objectives to mark the skillsets a student takes away from our institution. For robotics, electronics, motor control – and other specifics – students must successfully accomplish a specific task, witnessed by an instructor or a lab assistant, before that task is marked off on the checklist. By completing an entire checklist, the students are demonstrating competence and they walk out the door equipped with the skills needed to be hired into industry.

The idea of such a checklist to determine specific skillsets came from the Navy; whereby a young sailor would have to read a technical manual and pass an exam, and then have to go through practical applications to make sure the information sticks. Basically, every occupational classification on board a ship would have a “practical factor list” of things sailors have to do in order to qualify for promotion. It was from that checklist mentality, that we incorporated that idea into Spartanburg’s robotics courses.

You really never know where good ideas will come from. In our consortium, we have a great many ideas about the nature of teaching and learning. With industry as our essential partner, we are setting the stage for much more competency-based education down the road.

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Linda Morris

Implementation Facilitator

Gadsden State Community College

One of M-SAMC’s goals is to serve eligible participants for the Labor Department’s Alternative or Reemployment Trade Adjustment Assistance Program. This program focuses on older workers whether they are uniquely qualified or preferably veterans. These non-traditional students bring a wisdom to the classroom that can only come from life experience. They are very valuable and sometimes become mentors to the younger students because they have the same needs and goals.

Read the full Insight story.

Linda Morris

Implementation Facilitator

Gadsden State Community College

One of the goals of our consortium’s grant is to serve eligible participants for the Labor Department’s

Alternative or Reemployment Trade Adjustment Assistance (ATAA/RTAA) program. This program focuses on older workers and their different needs.

Adult learners are very unique individuals. I’ve had the privilege of both teaching and learning from them in the past. These non-traditional students bring a wisdom with them, and they will often times mentor the other students. Their interests and goals are usually in-line with one another, although the manner in which they learn may be different. Part of the dynamic in teaching older students is taking care to treat them with the respect you’d give a parent.

It’s a pleasure to be able to serve all of our older students in our programs, but it is a special privilege to work with our local veterans’ community. Veterans come to us with a set of skills that the average student does not possess. One of the ways we reach out to our veteran population is by participating in some of the Alabama National Guard Yellow Ribbon events where we go out and promote and solicit participants into the program.

Our consortium will continue to retrain workers as manufacturing jobs begin to stand up in the United States. We are focusing on the unique components of the student population, with veterans in particular, as our older student demographic.

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Scott Jedele

Program Manager - Industry

Henry Ford College

The Multi-State Advanced Manufacturing Consortium (M-SAMC) is thinking outside the box for methods in teaching manufacturing skills in community colleges. A previous method included the AMTEC Simulator*. This simulator provides the training necessary for a student to be prepared for a successful day on the factory floor. As unique as this simulator is, community colleges still have a gap to fill between classroom training and day one on the job. That is where the Pendaran approach has made an impact. Pendaran’s week-long program is a boot camp for manufacturing training. The program saves industry money; both in short-term and long-term costs.

Read the full Insight story.

Scott Jedele

Program Manager - Industry

Henry Ford College

The Multi-State Advanced Manufacturing Consortium (M-SAMC) is thinking outside the box to change manufacturing education. Our AMTEC Simulator* is central to how we prepare students to succeed in a career on the factory floor today. As unique as this simulator is though, community colleges still have a very long journey before we are teaching our students all the skills needed in manufacturing. We’re working in partnership with the manufacturers who hire our students to shorten that journey.

Recently, our consortium experienced an even more nuanced and effective way to teach and train our students for the high end manufacturing jobs that are making a resurgence today. We participated in the Pendaran Company’s accelerated training experience.

The Pendaran experience is a cross between business school and boot camp. It uses simulator technology and “live fire” drills to teach in a week what it can take years to ingrain in manufacturing workers. This training experience can save industry money in terms of training and retention up front, plus long term costs over time.

During our week of training, the students repeatedly praised the effectiveness of the experience. This feedback provides proof that we need to develop and incorporate newer and more innovative components – like the Pendaran experience – into the way community colleges teach essential manufacturing workplace skills.

Our challenge remains –

How do we become extraordinary at teaching our students all the critical skills they need to help manufacturers compete in the global economy?

*AMTEC,NSF ATE DUE-0903193

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Bryan Redington

former M-SAMC Implementation Facilitator

Industry partners are making their need of new hires with the proper soft skills and hard skills very clear. Community college educators and trainers have focused a great deal on the hard skills such as math, engineering, machining, and programming, but it is becoming clearer that the need to develop workplace soft skills is also critical to sustaining success for manufacturers. Soft skills are harder to obtain and often tie to an individual’s personality. A simple definition, all of the interpersonal skills we use while interacting and communicating with others at work.

Read the full Insight story.

Bryan Redington

former M-SAMC Implementation Facilitator

Through the Multi-State Advanced Manufacturing Consortium and the DOL TAACCCT Grant, Rock Valley College is striving to effectively prepare our students to succeed in their careers. We have purchased machinery, equipment, software and tools that are helping us teach the skills that our industry partners require. This collaboration with M-SAMC and manufacturers has moved our technical training forward quickly. Our industry partners tell us which skills they need and we then incorporate those skill-sets into our training, in a real-time training evolution.

When talking with our industry partners about their needs for new hires, a recurring theme that I hear is a lack of soft skills and the soft skills gap that we are facing today. As community college educators and technical trainers, we have focused a great deal on hard skills training, for instance, math, engineering, machining, and programming. Over time it has become clearer that the need to develop workplace soft skills are critical to sustaining success for manufacturers. Soft skills are much more abstract than hard skills, often tied to an individual’s personality. A simple definition: All of the interpersonal skills we use while interacting and communicating with others at work.

The reality of today’s manufacturing floor is that communication, listening and teamwork are just as important as the technical skills we teach. These skills are essential for employee success and professional growth in a factory setting. Other examples for necessary soft skills for employee success are critical thinking and problem solving skills; observing, gathering, and analyzing information; and having a positive attitude as well as time management skills.

We have added more hands on training, addressing the needs, concerns and challenges, while our industry partners help us bridge the existing gaps. Working together to share information and to leverage this knowledge every day is the key to our success and the key to even more successful manufacturing education moving forward.

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Pat Riddle

Implementation Facilitator

Pellissippi State Community College

The challenge for our consortium is to improve our teaching methods. Our philosophy includes the open lab, open testing, an onsite factory, and a heavy focus on factory skills, not lectures. We understand the basic needs of our students and the skills that they must learn to be successful in a career. That’s the key element. They need to know how to do something when they get hired. All of our efforts and outside-the-box thinking are focused on how to keep improving that education.

Read the full Insight story.

Pat Riddle

Implementation Facilitator

Pellissippi State Community College

The challenge for our consortium is to improve our teaching methods. Many of us are experimenting with the “open lab” concept by just making the lab available to more students. This concept really helps to reinforce the industry-like environment in teaching. We are building a new mega-lab with a small factory because students should be conditioned to the environment that they want to work in. With the “open lab” concept students get more time in the lab to go one-on-one and learn the skills that they really need to be successful on the job. That’s the key element. They need to know how to do something when they get hired.

Our open lab made me consider what else students really need to be successful on the job and to perform a skill, or a set of skills. They need the knowledge to do it. So I thought more about how we test, and started giving an “open test”, where students must take the test until they get 100 percent. Some instructors have said, “That’s cheating,” but it is a 500 question test bank that pulls up 50 random questions at a time. That’s testing their knowledge and ensuring they understand and know it.

Our concept of “performance-based objectives” is simply knowledge and skill rolled up together. The only way to teach that and to do it well is to allow students to practice. That’s how we all become professionals at what we do, we stand up and we do the job. That’s our underlying concept: prep them, give them a little self-confidence through practice, and that turns into a usable skill set on the job. Experience on the job then provides a foundation for higher strategic thinking like decision making, problem solving, and other thinking skills.

Our philosophy includes the open lab, open testing, an onsite factory, and a heavy focus on factory skills, not lectures. Our consortium understands the basic need of our students. You simply no longer spend five or six years learning something anymore. You’ve got to be able to go into that factory and perform from day one. All of our efforts and outside-the-box thinking are focused on how to keep improving that education.

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Charles Wesenberg

Implementation Facilitator

Tennessee College of Applied Technology - Murfreesboro

As modern manufacturing continues to evolve, so must the training of instructors and students to meet the competency and skill needs of industry. Tennessee College of Applied Technology has been host for many events promoting advanced manufacturing and training. Last February TCAT-Murfreesboro provided Integrated Systems Troubleshooting Training for Instructors. Led by subject matter experts Glenn Wisniewski and Ken Maxwell, the training involved the AMTEC Simulator* and caught the attention of schools across the country. This was the first event of its type sponsored in partnership by TCAT-Murfreesboro and M-SAMC.

Read the full Insight story.

Charles Wesenberg

Implementation Facilitator

Tennessee College of Applied Technology - Murfreesboro

In Middle Tennessee, we have powerhouse employers like Nissan, Amazon, and Bridgestone; but countless more, smaller (but equally important!), 2nd and 3rd tier suppliers also characterize the economic environment of Middle Tennessee. These manufacturers require their labor force to possess competencies in pneumatics, hydraulics, PLCs, automation, electronics, motor controls, electrical, welding, precision machining – the list could continue! However, in recent years, something is changing in the manufacturing landscape in the U.S. in relation to the identity of the manufacturing technician. Industry wants their employees to have all of the above skills, and it wants employees to rely on that diverse range of in-depth knowledge to troubleshoot integrated systems on the manufacturing floor. An integrated system, then, may require skills in several, if not all of the competency areas identified above. The modern manufacturing technician defies the manufacturing stereotypes of the past and stands out as a well-paid, technically sophisticated master of a broad range of advanced competencies.

Fortunately, some training equipment suppliers like Amatrol, Festo, and SMC, have already designed and currently market training systems for integrated troubleshooting. In fact, TCAT-Murfreesboro acquired Amatrol’s Integrated Troubleshooting System in June of 2014 through the Governor’s Grant, and promptly sent three instructors to Indiana for mechatronics training in July.

But what happens when the integrated troubleshooting system is so innovative that less than 20 schools across the country own the system? Such is the case with the AMTEC Simulator* currently implemented into the IEM/Mechatronics Program headed by Harold Hyatt at TCAT-Murfreesboro. The AMTEC Simulator* is an integrated troubleshooting system engineered and produced in a collaboration between AMTEC* (funded by the National Science Foundation), Lowry, Fanuc, and Allen Bradley. The design of the AMTEC Simulator* was based on input from large automotive manufacturers including Ford, Nissan, and Toyota, among others. The system costs $197,000 and is so new that only a handful of instructors in the country have fully integrated the system into their program.

Two instructors who have implemented the simulator into their training programs include Glenn Wisniewski from Massachusetts, who taught a pilot on the simulator for Henry Ford College (Dearborn, MI) and TCAT-Murfreesboro’s own Ken Maxwell, full-time instructor for the Nissan Mechatronics Apprenticeship Program. Having both of these professional instructors in the room at the same time might be considered an accomplishment, but having both of them involved in providing Integrated Systems Troubleshooting Training that included the AMTEC Simulator*, caught the attention of schools across the country.

The class spanned 3 days, from February 10-12, 2015. After instructors were forbidden from interacting with the simulator for the first day (in order to thoroughly convey the unique approach to teaching that effective Integrated Systems training may require), they were rotated to the simulator for training in groups between Ken Maxwell and Glenn Wisniewski. This was the first training of this type sponsored in partnership between TCAT-Murfreesboro and M-SAMC. TCAT-Murfreesboro is honored to be a part of the state and national movements in creating a skilled workforce. We are grateful for our industry partners and look forward to working together with TBR and other TCATs to align our curriculum with competencies in high demand in the workforce, ultimately paving a pathway to success for our amazing TCAT graduates.

*AMTEC,NSF ATE DUE-0903193

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FAME-ously Perfecting the Standard of Manufacturing

Saganski’s take on a Better, Faster Success Rate Plan

Crowe Deploys Navy Tactics in Competency-Based Education

M-SAMC is calling all Veterans to

Report for Duty!

Jedele Suggests Boot Camp for Manufacturing Training

Talking Soft and Hard Skills with Redington

Riddle's Route to Improving Teaching Methods

Integrated Systems Troubleshooting Training for Modern Manufacturing

"Aligning Education with Employer Needs"

Multi-State Advanced Manufacturing Consortium (M-SAMC)

5101 Evergreen Road, Dearborn, MI 48128

Unless otherwise noted this M-SAMC Website is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. This workforce solution was funded by a grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration. The solution was created by the grantee and does not necessarily reflect the official position of the U.S. Department of Labor. The Department of Labor makes no guarantees, warranties, or assurances of any kind, express or implied, with respect to such information, including any information on linked sites and including, but not limited to, accuracy of the information or its completeness, timeliness, usefulness, adequacy, continued availability, or ownership.

*AMTEC is supported entirely by a National Science Foundation (NSF) Advanced Technology Education (ATE) Program Grant (0903193). (AMTEC,NSF ATE DUE-0903193)

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