ORIGINALLY IN THE GLOUCESTER DAILY TIMES
By Taylor Ann Bradford
As the country’s manufacturing industry experiences a talent shortage, a neighboring college is partnering with Gloucester High School to help students tune their skills as they prepare to enter the workforce.
Through a partnership between North Shore Community College, Gloucester High School and MassHire-North Shore Career Center, students will be able to earn their National Institute for Metalworking Skills certificate in CNC, or computer numerical control, milling free of charge at Gloucester High this summer.
The GE Foundation committed $2.5 million to the schools’ Advanced Manufacturing Training Expansion Program (AMTEP) to create a pipeline of more than 900 trained workers for advanced manufacturing careers by 2024.
Through AMTEP, the courses will be free for all students.
“This is an amazing opportunity,” said Martin Trice, the college’s project manager of advanced manufacturing preparation. The free training provides the opportunity for students to become a nationally certified CNC machinist.
For those that are 18 and older, the average starting wage ranges from $16 to $25 per hour at 2,000 manufacturing companies in Northeast Massachusetts taking applications.
When classes begin this June, Gloucester High will be providing the space, equipment which was upgraded through a state Skills Capital Grant a few years ago, and the educator — as Matt Coye teaches the program.
“We’re very excited to be able to resume this program in the summer,” Gloucester High School Principal James Cook said.
Filling the talent gap
According to North Shore Community College’s website, there are not enough skilled workers prepared to meet demand due to the growth of manufacturing in the U.S., rapid advances in technology, and the aging of current workers.
A 2018 study found that “the gap between the need for skilled labor and the talent pool to fill that need was widening at an alarming rate,” the college’s website reads.
Of executives surveyed in the study, 89% said that the talent shortage in the U.S. manufacturing sector is critical.
If left unchecked, the survey read, 2.4 million positions will be unfilled between 2018 and 2028, which could risk a staggering $2.5 trillion in U.S. economic output.
To alleviate this dilemma, public and private initiatives across the state, including the GE Foundation’s AMTEP, have been funded and launched to fill the gap and bring in a new workforce.
The community college and MassHire serve the Northeast Advanced Manufacturing Consortium, Lynn Vocational Technical Institute, Essex North Shore Agricultural and Technical School and Gloucester High School.
“Each of these organizations plays a critical and coordinated role in recruiting, educating, and training a new generation of skilled workers on the North Shore of Boston,” the college wrote.
Staff writer Taylor Ann Bradford can be reached at 978-675-2705 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Free Classes at Gloucester High
North Shore Community College, Gloucester High School and MassHire-North Shore Career Center are providing free classes to Gloucester High students. The classes are:
Online Foundational Skills, which begins May 24, and runs Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 3 to 6 p.m.
Full-time CNC & Manual Machining, which begins June 21 and runs Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Friday from 7 a.m. to noon.
Online information sessions are 9 a.m. on Friday, May 14, and Tuesday, May 18.