360 part of $15 million grant awarded to MnSCU Advanced Manufacturing Consortium

360 is one of 12 partners that received a $15 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) program through the Minnesota Advanced Manufacturing Partnership.

The Minnesota Advanced Manufacturing Partnership, a statewide Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) consortium, has been selected to receive the grant for advanced manufacturing education throughout Minnesota. South Central College, a member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system and one of 15 partners in the 360 Manufacturing and Applied Engineering ATE Regional Center of Excellence, applied for the grant on behalf of the partnership and will be administering the grant€™s execution.

Bemidji State is receiving $412,044, which will allow the 360-degrees Center of Excellence to provide project expertise to the partnership in the areas of core and foundational manufacturing skill curriculum, outreach to employer and college partners on the benefits and advantages of manufacturing industry-recognized credentials and by promoting the Dream It. Do It. manufacturing recruitment strategy to improve the image of the manufacturing industry.

In addition to South Central College, several of 360 members are also part of this grant, including Century College, Lake Superior College, Minneapolis Community and Technical College, Northland Community and Technical College, Ridgewater College and Saint Paul College.

“A TAACCCT grant once again being awarded to our state community and technical colleges affirms the critical role our campuses play in preparing graduates to meet Minnesota’s workforce needs,” said MnSCU Chancellor Steven Rosenstone. “This is what we do for communities and employers across the state. We’re able to leverage the power of a network of 31 colleges and universities to provide more education to more Minnesotans.”

The grant project focuses on the fields of mechatronics, machining and welding. Participants will be able to earn stackable, portable, industry-recognized credentials, including certificates, diplomas and degrees, while simultaneously working in the industry. They will also be able to enter academic programs at multiple points based on assessment results that match individual skills.

The grant targets unemployed, underemployed and dislocated workers; incumbent workers; and other adult learners and underrepresented groups. Traditional students are also eligible. The program is expected to benefit more than 3,000 students and hundreds of manufacturing companies throughout Minnesota. Many Minnesota manufacturers, industry and workforce organizations have stepped up to partner with these colleges.

The Minnesota Advanced Manufacturing Partnership was created to help close Minnesota’s skills gap by implementing a structure for advanced manufacturing education. It emphasizes a standardized core curriculum along with employer-driven apprenticeships and cooperative education opportunities.