The program offers 128 hours of training geared toward manufacturing principles, such as quality management, metrology, blueprint reading, machining and geometric dimensioning and tolerancing, according to Claudia Ossola, director of corporate solutions at Front Range Community College.
Launched in mid-October at the college's Westminster campus, the manufacturing technology training program is rooted in industry demand.
"The program began with some conversation with a group of companies from the Adams County Manufacturers Association
Companies who had jobs, but not trained workers.
Discussions of what local industry leaders, such as Ascent Solar Technologies Inc.
in Thorton, Intrex Aerospace
in Louisville and Mountainside Medical Colorado in Boulder, needed from employees germinated the course curricula.
"(Companies) defined the skill set and key content or knowledge areas, and we turned that into a program," Ossola
The program mimics a manufacturing floor, Ossola
said, having a product in mind and following it through the manufacturing process from beginning to end.
The class is offered on evenings and weekends to allow already working folks to attend, and course end dates sync with times employers will be looking to hire, Ossola
Something that's possible in part because the manufacturing technology program is a non-credit course.
The course will be offered several times over the next few years, Ossola
said, and students will be offered a chance to meet prospective employers.
The workplace-ready program design includes interpersonal skills instruction, too.
"We kick off the class with some soft skills ... around personal contribution, good communication, team work, accountability and good work ethic," Ossola
calls the manufacturing growth "the perfect storm" of economic factors, including energy jobs in Colorado, focused government attention on job creation, grant dollars and the ability of community colleges to shift rapidly to meet training needs.