Over the last year, Berkshire Community College (BCC) has placed a large emphasis on advanced manufacturing in workforce development. The institution recently held a Certificate Ceremony for the 12 students who completed BCC's Level 2 Manufacturing Program at Taconic High School (THS).
The Program, which is a partnership between BCC and THS, is available as a result of grant monies from the Massachusetts Community Colleges & Workforce Development Transformation Agenda (MCCWDTA) and the Department of Labor's Rapid Response program. These monies enable the institutions to provide Level 1 and Level 2 manufacturing training that is aligned with the curriculum set by the Manufacturing Advancement Center Workforce Innovation Collaborative (MACWIC).
The graduates of the Level 2 Manufacturing Program include: Craig Calderara, Adams; Dwight Godley, Pittsfield; Dakota Ketchen, Lee; William Ketchen, Lee; David Lantz, Dalton; Joseph DiNicola, Pittsfield; Gregory Hanson, Pittsfield; David Robillard, Adams; George Saul, Pittsfield; Daniel Scorpa, Lanesboro; Kendell Thompson, Pittsfield and Kenneth Welch, Dalton.
"We are delighted to see our students complete the advanced manufacturing program and successfully pass the state-wide MACWIC certification exam. These graduates will help to ensure that our Berkshire workforce has the technically focused workers needed to thrive," said BCC's Vice President of Community Education/Workforce Development Bill Mulholland.
The MMCWDTA funding allowed for the purchase of the equipment and curriculum for both Level 1 and Level 2 training. The instruction and supplies for the training programs was funded through the Department of Labor's Rapid Response program.
Nine students who successfully completed the level 1 training program in January, continued with the 100-hour, noncredit, level 2 training which consisted of the following courses: Introduction to Lean Manufacturing and Problem Solving; Introduction to CNC Milling Concepts and Hands on Training; Introduction to CNC Turning Concepts and Hands on Training; and Introduction to Programming and GD&T. Six of the twelve students completed an additional 15 hours of training with an Introduction to Paper Technology course.
Following the ceremony, a mini-career fair was held for the students who have completed the Level 2 program. The successful completion of this program gives students the ability to enter into the workforce with a strong knowledge of basic manufacturing concepts and skill sets.
Seven students who took the comprehensive MACWIC Level 2 credentialing exam, passed with a score of 85 or higher.
Earlier this year, twenty students passed the MACWIC Level 1 credentialing exam.