Southwestern PA Training Center Funnels Skilled Workers into the Manufacturing Industry
New Century Careers (NCC) is working hard to make sure they are supporting southwestern Pennsylvania manufacturers by promoting the availability of their Manufacturing 2000 (M2K) program and through it, developing a skilled workforce that can continue to fuel the state’s historic manufacturing industry.
Training Our Future Workforce
The M2K program was created to back these efforts, with funding through the Department of Community and Economic Development’s (DCED) Training-to-Career program, to create local opportunities for manufacturers-like spaces for reasonably-priced prototype development and small batch runs of machined parts and a larger pool of qualified, entry-level precision machining positions for them to hire from and continue to grow with. DCED’s program offers grants to Pennsylvania technical schools, trade schools, community colleges, and non-profits for professional services/consultants, internships, equipment purchase, shop modifications, domestic travel, salaries and fringes, and audit fees.
Beyond manufacturing skills training, M2K students can also receive assistance with resume preparation, interview skills, and in researching their options for employment once they’ve completed training. Students coming out of this training can expect to leave with all the knowledge they need to nail an interview and land a successful, entry-level career in manufacturing.
This training is comprehensive to say the least, requiring up to 600 hours through three levels of studies. In this time, students receive both hands-on manufacturing experience and professional development support as they look forward to applying for employment with a local company.
The best part? This training is free to qualified applicants. That means if you’re at least 18 with a high school diploma or GED, you can apply for the M2K program. That’s right. You.
Career Growth Success
Ask Ariel-an M2K student who began her training in August 2020. Ariel came from a family of machinists, with her grandfather, father, and uncle all having worked in the industry. Even having been exposed to manufacturing in such a close sense, growing up it never seemed like a feasible option of employment for women to her.
“It just never came up as being something a woman could do. That was not a woman’s job. And now, here I am at 37 starting this program, and after just a few months I have enough skills to make me job-ready,” said Ariel.
Ariel looked forward to a career in manufacturing, as opposed to “just a job” – and as of December 2020 she had already accepted employment at a local company.
Even as we all navigate a global pandemic and face unprecedented challenges, the M2K program could and continued to offer a sense of security in a fast-tracked path to legitimate, local career options.
NCC is no stranger to partnering with southwestern Pennsylvania manufacturers. Since 1997, over 160 regional manufacturers of all sizes have partnered with New Century Careers because they know they can trust them to develop high-quality and adequately-trained future employees. These partnerships benefit manufacturers by saving them time and money that would otherwise be necessary to professionally train a new employee with no experience.
Win-Win for Local Manufacturers
One local employer that New Century Careers has supported through its training programs –Jennison, a contract manufacturer in Carnegie, Pennsylvania-can attest that the training center is doing a great service in standing up for skilled labor and educating the community on the opportunities and living that can be made with a career in manufacturing.
Jennison works in CNC machining, die repair, design and building, stamping, and prototyping and the company’s work includes crucial components for fire safety and air quality management equipment.
“Maintaining a qualified workforce is one of the biggest challenges for Jennison. We work with NCC to get potential workers in front of us that have the skills and mindset we’re looking for.” – Jennison
This state registered pre-apprenticeship program is designed to set its students up for success. Their program completion leads to employment that contributes to a growing, stronger manufacturing industry. With training locations both in Pittsburgh’s South Side and in Latrobe, the M2K program is a tangible, available step to a successful career in manufacturing. The partnership between New Century Careers and local manufacturers fuels our economy and grows our manufacturing industry, leading to even more job opportunities for communities in southwestern Pennsylvania.
To learn more about what Pennsylvania’s manufacturing industry can offer you and your company, visit the DCED website. If you are interested in applying for the Manufacturing PA Training-to-Career Grant program, visit our program webpage. Stay up-to-date on DCED news by following signing up for our newsletter and following us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
Becca Durkot has worked as the Marketing & Communication Specialist at New Century Careers since February 2020. She graduated from Slippery Rock University in 2019 with a B.S. in Integrated Marketing Communication and had a minor in Graphic Design.