SCC President Lee Lambert testfying Tuesday, April 17, 2012 before a Senate subcommittee.
Shoreline Community College President Lee Lambert today told a U.S. Senate subcommittee how the college is putting into practice the national programs designed to get Americans back to work.
Lambert is spoke before the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Competitiveness, Innovation, and Export Promotion at a hearing titled “Promoting American Competitiveness: Filling Jobs Today and Training Workers for Tomorrow.” Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., is a member of the subcommittee that is chaired by Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.
“Community colleges are in a unique position to connect the needs of business and industry with the men and women who come to us for employable skills,” Lambert said in his testimony.
“Shoreline Community College has been at the forefront of implementing the Manufacturing Skills Certification System endorsed by the National Association of Manufacturers. Today, we’re leading the way to implement the Right Skills Now program recently touted by President Obama. Our campus is also one of two national innovation centers connected to National Coalition of Certification Centers. “
Partnerships, Lambert told the senators, are the key to Shoreline’s success.
“We ask each of our partners what we can do for them, not what they can do for us,” he said.
Following his testimony, Chairwoman Klobuchar asked Lambert about how Shoreline is making connections with military veterans.
“Shoreline is a Center for Excellence for veterans and received a U.S. Department of Education grant to help us better serve veterans,” Lambert responded. “It’s so important to create the wraparound services that veterans need to be successful.”
In his testimony, Lambert cited the Professional Automotive Training Center and Manufacturing program as examples of how aligning the curriculum with industry needs can help students.
“These students are getting jobs, good jobs, with a placement rate of virtually 100 percent,” Lambert said. “We’ve found a model that works, putting people in jobs that industry needs filled. Now were working to apply in other areas just as fast as we can.”
Through Lambert’s leadership, Shoreline is playing a role at the national level in raising awareness of the need for stronger collaboration between education and industry. Some of the key tenets of the relationship are industry-based curriculum, third-party certifications and assessments and strong student support programs.
Over the past several years, Shoreline has been working closing with the National Association of Manufacturers and the Manufacturing Institute to develop the Manufacturing Skills Certification System. As an example of how that system works, Shoreline’s CNC Machinist program is certified by the National Institute for Metalworking Skills.
Shoreline’s lead machining instructor, Keith Smith, recently developed a two-quarter certificate specifically for the needs of the aerospace industry, including Boeing the some of the more than 600 industry suppliers in the state. That certificate is now being adopted by 10 other colleges in the state and has become part of the Right Skills Now program touted by President Obama
Shoreline is also one of the founding members of the National Coalition of Certification Centers (NC3) and Lambert is the incoming board president for the organization.
“U.S. industry still leads the world,” Lambert said. “We can help make sure we stay No. 1 by educating and training students for the jobs and leadership positions needed now and in the future.”