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Central Region Advanced Manufacturing Consortium Gets Down to Business

March, 2019
  • Lt. Governor Karyn Polito,along with regional workforce leaders, state and local officials visited QCC’s QuEST Center in January
    Lt. Governor Karyn Polito,along with regional workforce leaders, state and local officials visited QCC’s QuEST Center in January for the announcement of $2.5 million in grant funding to four regional consortiums, through the Advanced Manufacturing Training Program.

Quinsigamond Community College is an active partner in the Central Region Advanced Manufacturing Consortium (CRAMC), one of four consortia funded by the Commonwealth’s Advanced Manufacturing Training Program. The program is designed to address the skills gap in the manufacturing industry by creating a fully-coordinated manufacturing training system that will connect residents to full-time employment, and meet the needs of regional industry. Funding for the consortia was announced on January 15 by the Lt. Governor Karyn Polito at an event held at QCC.

While regional in scope, the four consortia are working together with the Executive Office of Housing & Economic Development to develop a strategic plan that will be both statewide in scope and customized for each region.

CRAMC supports Worcester County. Partners include the Mass Hire offices in Central and North Central Worcester County, Quinsigamond & Mount Wachusett Community Colleges, the Regional Technical High Schools, the Blackstone Valley Educational Foundation, and the Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership (Mass MEP). Two CRAMC Manufacturing Program Specialists will be connecting prospective trainees to programs, and then to employers. Jason Walker, QCC’s Advanced Manufacturing Program Specialist who represents the college at CRAMC, is working closely with Workforce Development and MassHire in supporting the central and southern part of Worcester County.

CRAMC partner activities include:

  • Recruiting & training residents to fill currently open positions in manufacturing today
  • Training incumbent workers to move into higher level manufacturing positions
  • Creating a comprehensive training system across the area that will meet the needs of manufacturing employers for skilled workers
  • Developing and deploying a campaign to drive public interest in manufacturing as a great career pathway and to connect people with job opportunities in the industry

CRAMC partners in the southern part of Worcester County recently held a “listening session” with area manufacturers to discuss their current and emerging needs. The session was led by Ethan Brown of the Central Worcester County office of Mass Hire and Kathy Rentsch, Assistant Vice President for Workforce Readiness and Innovation at QCC. Employers from Vibram, Dexter-Russell, Metso, Trident/Hass Machine, OFS Optics and Flexcon attended and identified current needs for machinists / CNC operators, industrial engineers, inspectors, production workers, mechanical drafters and supervisors. QCC offers certificate and degree programs that prepare students for these positions. QCC’s Career Center works with these and other companies to connect QCC students with internships and employment opportunities in these high demand occupations.