ECC Recognized as a National Model in Manufacturing Education
Edgecombe Community College is one of five schools across the country to receive the 2015 Tooling U-SME Platinum Education Center (TUPEC) award, which is presented to institutions that serve as outstanding models in manufacturing education.
Based in Cleveland, Ohio, Tooling U-SME is a leader in manufacturing learning and development.
According to Tooling U-SME, ECC enhances the professional development of students by creatively using online and hands-on training in a blended learning format to help develop a skilled and qualified future manufacturing workforce.
“Edgecombe Community College, like our past recipients, exemplifies the spirit of the TUPEC awards,” says Toni Neary, education specialist for Tooling U-SME’s Government and Education Group.
“We applaud the instructors and schools that make practical use of technology and state-of-the-art equipment to prepare our future manufacturing workforce. These programs are not just educating, but inspiring the next generation.”
“There are many great community colleges and technical schools that work diligently to level set students with the skills needed to be successful in the manufacturing industry,” says Dr. Stan Garren, business and industry instructor at Edgecombe Community College.
“We are honored to be recognized as an educational leader working to help close the skills gap.”
ECC began its partnership with Tooling U-SME in 2011 when the college received a multi-year advanced manufacturing education grant from the U.S. Department of Labor.
Since then, Tooling U-SME training resources have become a vital part of the college’s manufacturing technology program, which enables students – most of whom work first and third shifts for local manufacturing companies – to attend evening classes and earn their two-year associate degree.
Tooling U-SME is an online delivery system for manufacturing training modules. Students can access the training on campus or at home. “The modules are a complement to what we teach in the classroom and lab,” explains Dr. Garren.
“Every week students are required to complete certain Tooling U modules. Upon completion, they receive a credential. Tooling U is recognized nationally and internationally, and their partnership with the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) leads to the kind of clout that is very beneficial to our students at their workplace or as they pursue jobs.”
The other North Carolina 2015 TUPEC award recipient was Blue Ridge Community College in Flat Rock. Other winners were Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland, OH; Lower Columbia College, Longview, WA; and West Georgia Technical College in Waco, GA.
Nearly 3.5 million skilled manufacturing workers may be needed to fill the manufacturing talent pipeline within the next ten years, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Two million of those jobs are expected to go unfilled due to a shortage of workers with the skill set needed to operate in an advanced manufacturing environment.