By building awareness in 9th grade, conducting skills training at local community colleges in 10th grade, then moving students into paid internships in 11th and 12th grades, the Early College, Early Career program (ECEC) promotes economic inclusion, increased career readiness, social equality with economic opportunity to all, and revitalized local communities through increasing employment and prosperity.
ECEC offers high school students the chance to directly experience manufacturing careers through skill-building activities and paid internships. Along the way, students earn college credit, manufacturing certifications, and even job offers. Upon graduation from high school, students will have the option to continue their education, continue working at their companies, or do both simultaneously.
High schoolers, here’s how it works:
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Fast-track training programs — and your talent pipeline — when your company owns workforce development.
A core piece of MAGNET’s mission is to ensure manufacturers have the skilled workers they need to grow. Part of that solution is to upskill existing workers, including people who are out of work, looking for a change, or just underemployed.
MAGNET is leading the development of numerous community college offerings that we call “fast-track training” for in-demand occupations, including CNC machining and welding. Sometimes referred to as “Right Skills Now,” the program started as a partnership between Tri-C and Swagelok. Since the inception of fast-track training at Swagelok in 2014, more than 100 students have been hired by Swagelok and other small employers. MAGNET has since scaled the program to Lorain County Community College and Stark State College. And in 2018, MAGNET partnered with nonprofit organizations in the Slavic Village neighborhood of Cleveland to pilot a neighborhood-specific training program for adult residents, resulting in five new jobs.
As fast-track trading programs scale across the region, it engages more employers in these new areas. The challenge is that, despite the availability of high-paying jobs, many seats are still available in these training programs.
For the past several years, the Ohio Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Summer Internship Program has leveraged the MEP Center network to place high school students in advanced manufacturing jobs, with success increasing year after year. In 2017 alone, 76 students from 31 Ohio high schools and tech/career centers were placed at 40 employers around the state. These students worked in high-demand, high-growth areas including precision machining, electrical trades, welding, manufacturing technology, industrial mechanics, automated manufacturing technology, CNC machining, computerized design and drafting, and material handling and receiving.
The program is expanding significantly in summer 2018, with the goal of placing over 150 students via the MEP Centers across the state. In the end, the Ohio MEP Summer Internship Program assists students and educators in establishing future employment connections; allows students to acquire valuable work experience, improve their soft skills, and advance their technical knowledge learned in the classroom; and provides employers with trained, prepared students to potentially join their future workforce.