Right on track
In spring 2015, Lorain County Community College (LCCC) welcomed the first group of seven students to the newly launched Right Skills Now program. Created in partnership with the Lorain County Joint Vocational School, Lorain County Growth Partnership and MAGNET, Right Skills Now is a national model for offering accelerated training in CNC operations, programming and machining – specialties that will account for 14 to 22 percent of job growth in manufacturing by 2024.
To learn more about how Right Skills Now benefits employers, LCCC Impact spoke with Jim Tyree, plant manager of Oberlin, Ohio-based General Plug, which enrolled an employees in the pilot program for CNC operator milling to upgrade his skills.
Q: Why was it important for General Plug to get involved with Right Skills Now?
A: It’s important to help support and shape a program like this, because manufacturing is going to keep growing in Lorain County. We need to keep increasing the talent pool and increasing the number of employees who are qualified to fill manufacturing jobs in the area.
Q: How has Right Skills Now benefitted General Plug?
A: We actually had a double benefit, because we had an existing employee go through the course, and we also hired one of the other students who completed the course. It’s great because a lot of the pre-employment screening takes place as part of the program. Students have to go through a pre-employment application, then pass a background check and drug test. Then the participating companies have a chance to interview the students over the course of the program.
It lets prospective employers know the college is investing in the right kind of students from the very beginning. Once a student successfully completes the program, he or she is offered a job at one of the participating companies. It’s a chance to have guaranteed employment, right out of school.
Q: How are you planning to move forward with the program?
A: We’ll have a debriefing session with LCCC once the students have gotten settled at their new jobs. We’ll talk about what worked with the program and what could be done better. Maybe we need to emphasize different types of troubleshooting on equipment, things like that. We’ll get a chance to iron all of that out. But overall, I’d say this was extremely successful for a first attempt at administering a program like this.
We’ve been involved with LCCC for about 20 years now, on a range of initiatives, and we know they’re a great resource for businesses like ours. We’re going to continue working with them on Right Skills Now, and hopefully make an even better training tool for companies in the area.
About Right Skills Now
Over the next decade, 2 million U.S. jobs will go unfilled jobs due to the skills gap in manufacturing. Right Skills Now helps address this gap by giving participants the opportunity to earn the National Career Readiness Certificate and industry-recognized credentials in four technical areas of manufacturing.
- Materials and safety
- Bench work and layout
- CNC operator milling levels I and II
The fast-track training solution is designed to serve students in Lorain County who are seeking employment at area companies or who are looking for additional career training. Paid internships with participating local employers follow the short-term training curriculum. Learn more at [URL].
Contact LCCC Business Growth Services at (440) 366-4300 to learn more about Right Skills Now.