For six months in 2020, the C-TEC Postsecondary Education Center partnered with the Heath-Newark-Licking County Port Authority and the Licking County Commissioners’ Office to offer free short-term training in C-TEC’s Edge Modern Manufacturing program as a response to the immediate needs of dislocated workers and local manufacturers who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In total, 109 un- and under-employed adults received training and testing services, with funding support from the Port Authority and the County Commissioners’ Office, within three areas:
Over the course of 6 months, five (5) Edge Classes were offered with a 94% graduation rate and a 97% industry credential attainment rate.
The C-TEC Edge program is a tuition-free, 6-week, 120-hour program designed to train adults with no or some manufacturing experience by providing them with the foundational knowledge in modern manufacturing, quality and industrial safety to give them the best advantage to gain employment with area manufacturers who have immediate openings.
Overall, C-TEC engaged fifteen (15) industry partners that interacted with students during training to provide them with information about career opportunities at their companies.
National Career Readiness Certificate
One hundred and one (101) students took WorkKeys assessments to achieve the ACT WorkKeys National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC). This Certificate is an assessment-based credential that measures and certifies the essential work skills needed for success in jobs across industries and occupations. With an NCRC certification, dislocated workers seeking to pivot careers can confirm their skill level through an industry-accepted pre-employment screening test. This gives them an advantage in the hiring process with local employers who have worked with C-TEC to establish level scores and utilize this testing already as part of their human resources practices.
Workforce Development Program Scholarships
While recruiting for the Edge program, C-TEC received a number of inquiries from dislocated workers who were interested in training in other in-demand, high-wage training programs. Twenty-seven (27) adults received workforce development program scholarships to support their efforts in upskilling and reskilling to a new career.
Partnerships & Workforce Efforts Continue in 2022
There was still a need to support local industry as they re-opened and re-tooled after the pandemic to be sustainable in the long run. There was still a need for critical industry training that persisted beyond pre-employment and into initial hiring.
As a result of the pandemic, most local companies are hiring yet finding a workforce shortage. The inability to fill positions with qualified candidates has caused companies to flex or relax their qualifications for job positions to simply fill positions with anyone who applies. As a result, many new hires lack the skills needed for the job, and companies do not have time to dedicate senior staff time for training and on-boarding. Therefore, C-TEC identified a need to provide core industrial safety training to properly train personnel and maintain plant wide safety requirements. Training is delivered at C-TEC or onsite at the company’s facility. Training modules are facilitated through a combination of hands-on and theory instruction.
Similarly, industry partners, impacted by the pandemic and who are currently faced with a workforce shortage for hiring needs for technical areas, are seeing the same skill shortage with employability and leadership skills. In addition, industry partners are leaning on seasoned workers to become team leads and supervisors since production-level positions are easier to backfill. As a result, these new managers require training to assist the companies with employee retention efforts, and effective management of lower-skilled teams. C-TEC has provided talent management training that is designed to support companies and employees through management and new hire transitions.
To date, C-TEC has trained for six (6) companies, providing training and testing to more than 140 adults.