“The opportunity is a win-win scenario for all involved,” said Wes Smith, CCWA’s Interim AVP of Workforce Development. “Large employers get access to highly-skilled veterans, and participants get an intimate look inside the local manufacturing sector, not to mention national certification and opportunities to interview for available, in-demand jobs.”
Partnering for Employment Opportunities
CCWA’s program for the military community offers a unique focus on employment. In order to integrate the job search process into its curriculum, the program has built relationships with several regional manufacturers. Program partners include leading companies such as Altria, Ashland Specialty Ingredients, Concrete Pipe & Precast, Dominion Energy, Gerdau, Service Center Metals, Niagara Bottling, Lutron, Colortree, ITAC, and MGC Advanced Polymers. Class participants will take tours of each employer’s manufacturing facility. Moreover, upon the conclusion of the program, students will be guaranteed interviews for open positions with program partners.
Along with opening doors to potential employers, CCWA’s MT1 certification program aims to improve participants’ overall earning ability. According to a 2017 report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual wage in Virginia for an employee in a production occupation was $37,620. However, with training and certification, employees can move to specialized areas of production and see a substantial increase in pay. For example, the mean annual wage for a Chemical Plant and System Operator in 2017 in Virginia was $49,610. By earning an MT1 certification with CCWA, members of the military community will have the opportunity to build a skillset that increases their long-term earning potential.
What is a Manufacturing Technician?
An MT1 operates precision machinery, systems, and processes in the field of manufacturing. The certification program’s core competency areas focus on math and measurement skills, spatial reasoning and manufacturing technology, and quality and business acumen. Typical skills expected in MT1 positions vary, but usually include CAD skills, computer controlled machine programming, precision measurement, process and machine trouble-shooting, problem-solving, machine maintenance, and proficient use of diagnostic and statistical tools. In general, MT1 positions describe someone who has enough broad-based knowledge about a multi-step process to successfully troubleshoot and solve problems beyond the scope of a typical machine operator.