OCTC receives grant to address skills gap of employees in manufacturing industry

May 13, 2022 | 12:02 am

Updated May 12, 2022 | 11:37 pm

Scott Williams

Owensboro Community and Technical College recently received an award of more than $550,000 from the National Science Foundation for training the current and future workforce with increased Industry 4.0 skills “that are critical in the post-pandemic manufacturing industry.”

This new three-year initiative titled Reskilling Manufacturing Technicians Post-COVID with an Industry 4.0 Competency-Based Solution began May 1. It will increase partnerships between the college, industry, and other stakeholders to upskill incumbent workers and build a pipeline of new highly skilled technicians.

“This project will help address the growing skills gap of employees in the manufacturing industry that, if not resolved, will impact the economic health of the Greater Owensboro region,” said OCTC President Scott Williams.

The project focuses on developing a competency-based education (CBE) strategy as an industry-responsive approach to training for current and future manufacturing technicians. This strategy will offer unique and creative learning opportunities that fit the needs of employers and individuals, particularly working adults. Additionally, project efforts will encourage underserved groups (i.e. women and minorities) to consider manufacturing as a viable career choice.

“The implementation process will involve incorporating Industry 4.0 competencies into a competency-based delivery model offering advanced manufacturing courses that lead to short-term credit-bearing, industry-recognized certificates, and two national certifications,” said grant PI Sheri Plain.

Six of the certificates are stackable credentials that bank toward a diploma and the Industrial Maintenance Technology and/or Electrical Technology AAS degrees at OCTC should participants choose to continue their education. The project goal is to increase the skill levels of at least 60 incumbent manufacturing technicians and/or dislocated and underemployed workers who will learn Industry 4.0 technologies for successful mastery and application on the job.

This project is funded by the Advanced Technological Education program that focuses on the education of technicians for the advanced-technology fields that drive the nation’s economy.

May 13, 2022 | 12:02 am

Share this Article

Other articles you may like