Across New Jersey, Advanced Manufacturing employers face the challenge of finding qualified candidates with the necessary skills required for employment in this industry. Employers also have concerns about replacing retiring workers.
It was determined by Camden County College, along with the other New Jersey community colleges and the New Jersey Community College Consortium for Workforce and Economic Development that they could assist the 17,000 Advanced Manufacturing employers address this workforce development initiative if mobile learning labs were available to deliver training programs throughout the state.
Camden County College accomplished this initiative with funding from the USDOL Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) Grant award. CCC utilized the funding to equip two eight foot trailers as mobile learning labs. These mobile learning labs will help employers by expanding the employment pool of qualified workers and provide career pathways such as: machinists, combination machine operators, set up operators, machine operators and tenders, and mechanical drafters.
The classroom trailers are outfitted with Fabricated Metal Product / CNC Machining (Computerized Numerical Control) and Mechatronics equipment to provide hands-on-training with current industry equipment to supplement classroom education. The curriculum for the Fabricated Metal Product course was developed by Kevin Schmidt, CCC's Computer Integrated Manufacturing coordinator, in collaboration with New Jersey's Metal Fabrication manufacturers. This collaboration ensured that the written curriculum met the training competencies and skill requirements for entry level employment in the fabricated metal product manufacturing industry. The Mechatronics curriculum is a combination of Amatrol Mechatronics Curriculum and the Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute (PMMI) Mechatronics Certificate program. This curriculum teaches students a broad array of job-ready skills in integrating technologies. Experienced trainers with industry backgrounds teach these competency focused programs leading to endorsed certifications.