A group of manufacturing executives, higher education leaders, and representatives from two regional Workforce Investment Boards met today at UMass Dartmouth's Advanced Technology Manufacturing Center (ATMC) to begin the work of the Southeastern Massachusetts Advanced Manufacturing Consortium (SMAMC).
UMass Chancellor Jean F. MacCormack kicked off the meeting by welcoming the attendees and recognizing the work done to date in producing a Strategic Plan for the Massachusetts Institute for Advanced Manufacturing. The plan addresses the need for a technically degreed workforce for employers in advanced manufacturing who increasingly require a skilled and adaptable workforce to compete in global markets.
"These are indeed exciting times for the advanced manufacturing industry," Chancellor MacCormack stated. "While the federal and state governments are attempting to address the needs of manufacturers, this regional initiative is positioned to play a key role in demonstrating a scalable statewide model designed to increase the pool of technically degreed employees for the advanced manufacturing industry."
According to Dr. Louis Petrovic, Director of the ATMC, "The Southeastern Massachusetts Advanced Manufacturing Consortium is the first of several similar efforts in other regions of the state we hope to link through a virtual institute to provide an educational attainment strategy leading to career paths in the advanced manufacturing industry."
"We know from a small survey we conducted last spring there is a strong desire to form a regional consortium to promote our needs for education and training here on the SouthCoast," said Len Coriaty, Executive Director of the Greater New Bedford Workforce Investment Board.
"We know an educated workforce will strengthen our region as a whole," added Tom Perreira, Executive Director of the Bristol Workforce Investment Board.
"We believe there are terrific careers for employees in advanced manufacturing, from shop floor to management, " said David Cabral, President of Five Star Manufacturing and Treasurer of the Greater New Bedford WIB. "As we see continued retirement of our workforce we must prepare for the future, and the Southeastern Massachusetts Advanced Manufacturing Consortium will help us accomplish that."