The Manufacturing Training Initiative for Cecil and Harford County was the recipient of an EARN (Employment Advancement Right Now) grant through the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, according to Bruce England, Executive Director of the Susquehanna Workforce Network. This training initiative was conceived through a manufacturing partnership called the Susquehanna Manufacturing Coalition.
The Susquehanna Manufacturing Coalition is comprised of local manufacturers, offices of economic development, education entities and the Susquehanna Workforce Network. It was formed to address the workforce needs of the manufacturing industry in Cecil and Harford counties. The coalition will provide oversight to the innovative training strategies identified in the program which include multiple training components designed based on the recognized needs of the manufacturing industry and correlated to nationally recognized standards and competencies.
The training project will be delivered over two years. With the focus of meeting the needs identified by the Susquehanna Manufacturing Coalition members, the project includes a priority emphasis on creating skill acquisition and employment opportunities for veterans, under-employed and unemployed residents, high school graduates and incumbent workers. The comprehensive instruction will focus on foundation skills, core technical skills and occupational specific skills. An industry certification will be awarded to successful training completers. Candidates selected for the training will be provided the opportunity to participate in on-the-job (OJT) training and receive priority job placement.
According to England, "This project provides an opportunity to support the workforce needs of one the largest private sector industries in the region which offers among the highest average weekly wages for its workforce. The project will be funded by funds received from EARN Maryland, a grant program of the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation."
The Susquehanna Workforce Network Inc. (SWN) is a non-profit organization that executes workforce strategies contributing to the economic competitiveness of the region and a higher quality of life for businesses and residents. SWN is led by the region's Workforce Investment Board (WIB) which oversees, coordinates and plans workforce programs and services in Cecil and Harford counties. SWN's collaborative work with business and industry partners and economic and workforce development organizations provides innovative education, training and employment solutions for business, job seekers and youth. SWN's programs focus on measurable outcomes that support economic development priorities and strategies in our region.