M-Powered: Workforce Development & Training

Erick Ajax knows a thing or two about the state of workforce development in the country. Consider this. As owner of E.J. Ajax & Sons, one of the country’s leading metal stamping companies, he is in the front lines of the talent wars – recruiting, training and retaining skilled employees in the manufacturing sector is becoming quite difficult. Why you ask?

First the current workforce in manufacturing is retiring or older. Added to this the general perception in the media that manufacturing is headed for disaster due to overseas competition and outsourcing. True there is increasing competitive pressures but the real issue is Workforce Training & Development. Using learning management solutions can help manufacturing companies leverage affordable and easy to administrator training technologies.

According to Mr. Ajax, “I work with the National Association of Manufacturers Center for
Workforce Success
as a Business Champion and speak about these issues
all over the country. And I’ve had the opportunity to share some of our
success stories on Sector Strategies. For instance, the Hitachi
Foundation provided some seed money several years ago to help us
develop a program for lower-income workers, the M-Powered Project. We
were able to partner with the National Association of Manufacturers,
the Precision Metalforming Association Education Foundation, the Annie
E. Casey Foundation
and others. It has helped us develop a fast-track
training program to help low wage individuals get the skills necessary
to take the first step onto a career ladder in the manufacturing sector
so they can begin to earn a living wage to support their family so they
can live the American dream.

Samantha Brady went through the M-powered program. She’s now 23. But
when she was 19, she had just given birth to her second child and had
been was arrested for possession of methamphetamine. She was in a state
correctional facility for a few years. We were able to take the
M-Powered program on the road to her and several other women who were
about to be released from that facility. They completed the M-powered
fast track 12-week training program. Samantha did well in her class.
When she was released about a year ago, we were able to hire her. She’s
did well here. She now has custody of her kids. She has her own
apartment. She has even testified before the legislature about
M-Powered. She says that her life before this program was worthless.
Now she can make enough money to support her children and doesn’t need
to do the things that got her in trouble before.”

Clearly the M-Power project is yielding some positive results. Training and development using multiple tools: classroom, e-learning or web-based training or blending the two approaches is powerful enough to stem the tide and hopefully reverse this decline in manufacturing in the US.

Organizations interested in using learning management systems to create and manage their e-learning can check out this company: eLeaP Training Software & Learning Management Systems

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