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East Central College is seeking input from plant managers and maintenance supervisors from industry as the college focuses on building training programs that will meet the needs of area manufacturers. 


An interactive session is scheduled for Friday morning, April 19, which will focus on educating manufacturers about the $1.1 million Missouri Manufacturing WINs grant awarded to ECC last fall.


“The grant is administered by the U.S. Department of Labor,” stated Gretchen Pettet, executive director of ECC’s Center for Workforce Development.  “One of the top priorities of the Labor Department is that our programs incorporate the critical technical skills that are most needed.  For our area that includes developing and tweaking our programs in industrial engineering technology, precision machining and welding that are located at Four Rivers Career Center in Washington.  Clearly, industry involvement is critical in this process.” 


The Quality Coach will facilitate the session, scheduled from 7:30 to 11 a.m. at the Washington School District’s Technology and Learning Center.  “People who attend will learn about the opportunities available through the grant to retrain current employees or better train their applicant pool,” Pettet noted.  “We expect this to be the beginning of an ongoing collaborative relationship.”


Pettet said that ECC will be required to offer online learning, enhance career pathway options for learners and worker s, and accelerate and improve certification and employment attainment.  Some people may be eligible for funds to cover the cost of their education.


“Through MoManufacturingWINs, students will earn skill certificates that are recognized and endorsed by the National Association of Manufacturers,” she said.  

Representatives from area industries interested in attending should reserve a seat before noon, April 12 by calling 636-239-0598 or emailing:


Pettet noted that a continental breakfast will be available beginning at 7 a.m.


ECC is one of nine colleges in Missouri to receive grant funding. In addition to occupational skill certifications, all students will earn a National Career Readiness Certification Plus credential. Critical project components include: maximizing assessment and award of credit for prior learning; collaborating to incorporate National Association of Manufacturers endorsed certification skill competencies into core curricula; accelerating learning to shorten classroom time through redesign of curricula and use of technology; developing opportunities for work-based learning and paid internships; integrating basic skills remediation in occupational skill training; providing professional development to faculty; and working with staff at Missouri career centers.

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