RICHMOND, VA — The Manufacturing Skills Institute (MSI), the workforce development affiliate of the Virginia Manufacturers Association, announced today that the Carson City, NV Public Library will be the first library in the United States to become an authorized MSI Assessment Center and MT1 Certified Trainer. The Carson City Library has been awarded a Library Services Technology Act (LSTA) grant to train individuals seeking marketable skills in advanced manufacturing. The project will help fill a workforce training need for area manufacturers through an apprenticeship program that fosters community-based learning in STEM skills, essential for advanced technology jobs, using the MSI’s MT1 certificate program.
“Carson City has a good blueprint for a brighter future and these kinds of action oriented solutions make a difference. I am very proud of the leadership of our Library Board of Trustees as well as the many more hands who contributed to this project. Success in winning the grant and implementing its mission will make a difference for Carson City residents,” said Carson City Mayor Bob Crowell.
The Carson City Library, in partnership with Western Nevada College (WNC) and Carson City School District, will educate local industry, workforce partners, economic developers and community leaders about the need to adopt industry credentials to retain and expand manufacturing in Northern Nevada. This partnership will serve as a national benchmark for innovative approaches to certifying workers for jobs in modern manufacturing. Three primary elements comprise the partnership’s aptly named program, Nevada’s Working Capital:
- The public library as a central location that leverages its technology and special programs to expose patrons to design and experimentation, fostering focused but informal STEM learning and exposure to 3D printing.
- The public library as an access point for patrons to gain additional practice with specialized engineering software (SolidWorks), particularly helpful to existing manufacturers who want more for employees that is not necessarily for college credit, but is practice-based and off the clock.
- The public library as a learning forum for patrons to participate in formal training opportunities at the library, and linked from the library to WNC, that directly lead to MT1 certification.
“We understand that closing the existing skills gaps in manufacturing is as much about today’s needs as it is tomorrow’s opportunities. We are committed to helping bridge the great digital divide in Carson City that exists between people with real opportunity to learn essential technical skills using state-of-the-art equipment, and those without that same opportunity,” said Tammy Westergard, Carson City Library LSTA program manager and deputy library director.
According to the Nevada Manufacturers Association, Nevada continues to attract and grow high-tech, high-performance manufacturing operations. However, many local manufacturers have difficulty finding and or retaining qualified and skilled employees proficient in the technical aspects of even entry-level advanced manufacturing work. Often employers offer remediation after hours to employees to help them build a solid base of fundamental manufacturing skills. The MT1 certificate program will expedite skills development in the region.
“The Carson City Public Library is visionary in creating regional collaboration to close the skills gaps faced by manufacturers in the Northern Nevada region. The library is a ‘hub’ for residents to seek learning opportunities and participate in special programs. The Nevada Manufacturers Association is the champion for the sector across Nevada. It is a fitting role for the library to link learning to earning by offering the MT1 certificate program, resulting in individuals equipped with industry credentials and prepared for jobs in manufacturing throughout the region,” said Katherine DeRosear, MSI executive director.
Industry credentials are competency-based and signal individuals have the technical competencies for employment and career advancement. The MT1 certificate program is the premiere industry-wide technical skills assessment, training and certification system for all production and production-support occupations for all sectors of manufacturing and includes two levels of certification: MT1 and Manufacturing Specialist (MS). The MT1 and MS certifications are portable and stackable industry credentials. Recipients demonstrate to employers that they have attained mastery of the following industry-wide critical technical skills: Math and Measurement; Spatial Reasoning and Manufacturing Technology; and, Quality and Business Acumen. The certifications have been third-party validated and are included in the NAM-endorsed National Skills Certification System.
About the attached picture –
Making the case} L to R, Carson City Library Deputy Business Director Tammy Westergard and Director Sena Loyd present the Nevada’s Working Capital grant proposal before the Nevada State Council on Libraries and Literacy in Carson City, Nev., on Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2015. Photo by Cathleen Allison.