On July 9, Governance Studies at Brookings hosted a half-day conference focused on the growing partnerships between community colleges and the manufacturing sector. Panels focused on the future of workforce development and the role of community colleges in the training of manufacturing workers. How are community colleges working to prepare the next generation of innovators in the manufacturing space and ready young adults to enter the workforce?
I was in San Francisco to participate in The Atlantic’s City Makers summit, a forum to address how technological innovations can mitigate issues of poverty, inequality and workforce development. A number of mayors, in town for the U.S. Conference of Mayors, joined us. As these local leaders know well, cities have become the center of our most pressing social, economic, and environmental challenges. But cities have also become centers of innovation where partisanship is put aside and mayors and other leaders come together to confront these challenges and build consensus around creative, practical solutions.
And cities are coming up with new ways of working across the public and the private sectors, because the old models just don’t work anymore. Governments are operating with far fewer resources at a time when cities are facing far bigger challenges.
Many of the region’s manufacturers and workforce training programs recently joined forces to get out the message that they have jobs to fill — for applicants with the right skills.
“The crisis right now is not having the people to fill the manufacturing jobs that we have,” says Ken Madden, vice-president of sales and marketing for employment agency Madden Industrial Craftsmen. “Manufacturers are adjusting their production based on those shortages,” he says, “that’s not good for manufacturers or the state.”
On June 4, a coalition of aviation trade associations took the first step towards solving the aviation maintenance workforce crisis by helping the government to define it. The group, spearheaded by the Aviation Technician Education Council (ATEC), asked the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) Policy Committee and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to revise the SOC system to more accurately reflect the aviation maintenance industry.