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CCWA Partners with VMA to Address a Growing Skills Gap in a Vital Industry

CCWA Partners with VMA to Address a Growing Skills Gap in a Vital Industry

Manufacturing is still alive and well in the Greater Richmond region. Our local economy continues to benefit from this thriving business sector, which has created more ancillary jobs in comparison to others. The manufacturing industry, however, is only as good as its human capital, and a large skills gap has appeared in the last decade.

While manufacturing plants have many open positions, and opportunities exist for employees to progress upward internally, employers find it difficult to locate candidates with the needed technical knowledge. This skills gap creates a significant opportunity for companies and individuals to break away from the pack. Job seekers and incumbent employees who are enhancing their knowledge and technical expertise become more competitive. Additionally, companies that actively invest in their employees increase productivity in their workplaces.

In the past, identifying a solid professional development certification for manufacturing technicians has been a challenge. Through a regional partnership with the community colleges and the Virginia Manufacturers Association (VMA), the industry now has a certification that it can get behind. The Manufacturing Technician Level 1 (MT1) certification helps people gain a portable credential while it gives employers a way to standardize skills for manufacturing jobs.

MT1 Certification

The MT1 certification program documents individuals’ mastery of the critical competencies required for modern manufacturing production and production-related occupations. The core competency areas certified with MT1 are:

  • Math and Measurement
  • Spatial Reasoning and Manufacturing Technology
  • Quality and Business Acumen

The specific skills required by a Manufacturing Technician 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. Manufacturing Technicians generally have enough broad-based knowledge about a multi-step process to troubleshoot and solve problems beyond the scope of typical “machine operators.” To review a full list of production occupations in modern manufacturing requiring MT1 industry-wide technical skills, please refer to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Through the MT1 program, CCWA is working to develop a workforce pipeline capable of meeting the requirements of existing and emerging employers in manufacturing and other advanced technology industries. CCWA has already graduated three classes of MT1-certified individuals, and additional classes are getting underway soon.

Meeting our Clients Where They Are

MT1_trailerCCWA is pleased to introduce our new Advanced Manufacturing Mobile Learning Lab. This 40-foot mobile lab is a flexible training venue that we can bring to your location. We have a wide variety of mechatronic, electrical, mechanical, pneumatic, & hydraulic training labs that can be installed in the trailer to offer your employees hands-on experiences during training. E-learning options are also available for the implementation of hybrid training programs. The trailer has its own heating and cooling system, as well as a built-in generator to power the equipment. Whatever your training needs, CCWA offers flexible options to support the professional development of your team.


For more information, please contact:

Wes Smith
CCWA Manufacturing Coordinator, Corporate Training & Consulting
Phone: 804-523-2296
Email: wsmith@ccwa.vccs.edu

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