One great resource for small to mid-sized manufacturers is the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), an organization that operates education partnerships at the regional, state and federal levels to develop the highly-skilled manufacturing workforce needed for today's global competitiveness. Each MEP center works directly with area manufacturers to provide expertise and services tailored to their most critical needs, ranging from process improvement and workforce development to business practices and technology transfer.
Recently the Maryland Manufacturing Extension Partnership graduated 12 participants in its five-and-a-half-week "Manufacturing Boot Camp" for people looking to work in factories. The program doesn't just train workers but runs with the goal of finding workers to fill specific skills needs for local area manufacturers.
The Manufacturing Boot Camp program is an intensive six-week program focusing on increasing the employability and ski8lls of potential workers statewide. The program involves a baseline skills assessment and teaches candidates basic entry level skills including but not limited to, work ethic, job readiness, professionalism, problem solving, basic math and English, communication skills and basic manufacturing skills.
The Maryland MEP created the Manufacturing Boot Camp after being awarded a planning grand under the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulatory Employment Advancement Right Now (EARN) Program, a national effort to involve employers in developing a skilled workforce and providing targeted education to Maryland workers.
Established in 1988, MEP is a public-private partnership that delivers a high return on investment to taxpayers. For every one dollar of federal investment, NPE helps businesses generate nearly $19 in new sales growth and $21 in new client investment. This translates into $2.2 billion in new sales annually. For every $1,978 of federal investment, MEP helps create or retain one manufacturing job.
MEP is a unit of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.
For more information or to find the MEP organization in your area, visit www.nist.gov/mep.