SHORELINE — Shoreline Community College President Lee Lambert will join a select group of education leaders from across the country in making sure America’s workers are ready for the manufacturing jobs of the future.
Lambert and more than two dozen of his colleagues will serve on the first-ever national Education Council focused on expanding and enhancing America’s manufacturing workforce. The appointments were announced Oct. 28, 2008, in Washington, D.C. by The National Association of Manufacturers.
“In these difficult economic times, we must create new educational pathways to help more individuals prepare for high-paying manufacturing jobs and, in turn, help our companies compete in world markets,” said Emily DeRocco, president of The Manufacturing Institute and former U.S. assistant secretary of labor for employment and training. The Manufacturing Institute is the research, education and workforce arm of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM).
“President Lambert will help the Education Council provide leadership, counsel and research to ensure America’s manufacturing workforce is properly prepared to compete in the global economy,” DeRocco said. “This is a big undertaking. Charter members will focus on issues as wide-ranging as identifying solutions to address the adult literacy crisis, designing regional manufacturing talent development systems, creating 21st century career and technical education programs and advancing innovation in the manufacturing economy,” she said.
Shoreline Community College has a number of innovative jobs-skills programs and Lambert said he is excited and humbled by the opportunity to share the college’s experience on the national level.
“Community colleges are nimble and efficient when it comes to responding to market needs and delivering needed skills and education,” Lambert said. “Besides offering industry-specific programs that can provide employable workers in as little as five weeks, Shoreline also helps students address basic education needs in literacy, English language and math.
“I applaud the manufacturers for convening this council and becoming a key player in the solution to workforce training and education challenges that face our society.”
DeRocco said that a wave of retiring baby-boomers and increased international competition are swamping U.S. manufacturers’ efforts in finding qualified people for increasingly sophisticated, high-tech jobs.
“The skills shortages are having a widespread impact on the ability of manufacturers to achieve production levels, increase productivity and meet customer demands,” DeRocco said. “With more highly-skilled and qualified people, manufacturers could create more jobs with family-sustaining wages.”
Education Council members represent K-12, community and technical colleges and 4-year colleges and universities. The educators and officials were tapped by The Manufacturing Institute to assist in developing national strategies to keep the American manufacturing workforce globally competitive and create more high-paying jobs.