RI Manufacturing Boot Camp Launched to Fill Skills Gap

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by | Mar 6, 2016

No cost program created to provide RI manufacturers with newly trained workforce

PROVIDENCE, RI – Polaris MEP (Manufacturing Extension Partnership), a division of the University of Rhode Island Research Foundation, has joined forces with Rhode Island Manufacturers Association (RIMA) and Workforce Performance Solutions (WPS Training) to deliver the Rhode Island Manufacturing Boot Camp. As part of RIDLT’s Real Jobs Rhode Island initiative, the program is designed to provide qualified entry-level candidates to hiring manufacturing companies as soon as possible.

Each boot camp will be a partnership between Rhode Island manufacturers who commit to making at least one entry level hire within six months and Polaris MEP, training partner WPS Training, and industry partner RIMA.

“This is a phenomenal opportunity for employers and candidates alike,” said Christian Cowan, Polaris MEP’s Center Director. “Polaris and RIMA recruit and WPS screens candidates against specific employer requirements. The candidates then get on-the-job experience with the employers after being trained by WPS Training. This is provided at no cost to the employer.”

The program is made up of classroom training and “On-the-Job Readiness Experience” modules. Classroom training is flexible depending on employer needs, and includes sections focused on Workforce Employment and Basic Manufacturing skill development.

Workforce Employment Skills section will educate trainees in the areas of corporate expectations (dress, timeliness, etc.), communication (email basics, etc.), organization, , and fundamentals of shop math. Following the classroom training, each employer will engage candidates in what is called the “On-the-Job Readiness Experience”. This will allow the hiring company to interact with the candidate in their own manufacturing environment for up to a week prior to acceptance as an employee.

Finally, WPS Training will follow-up with employers each week for the first month after placement and provide corrective action and coaching as required.

About Polaris MEP
Polaris MEP is a statewide non-profit organization that provides competitive manufacturing business improvement programs to grow RI’s manufacturing industry. Polaris is an affiliate of the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Manufacturing Extension Program (NIST MEP) and a business unit of the University of Rhode Island Research Foundation. Since 1996 Polaris has delivered improvement solutions to over 750 Rhode Island manufacturers to help them achieve sustainable and profitable growth.

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