Cleveland, OH

Cuyahoga Community College's Mobile Unit, a strategy in improving access to manufacturing training

Terrence Jacobs

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CLEVELAND, OH – Cuyahoga Community College’s Manufacturing Technology Center of Excellence's Mobile Training Unit becomes an example of innovation in providing access to manufacturing training.

The talent gap in manufacturing has been a nationwide issue for more than a decade. There’s a deficit of 8,000 manufacturing jobs opening in Northeast Ohio that could add to annual revenue of $5 billion to the local economy.

Cuyahoga Community College or Tri-C’s Mobile Unit can bring its 53-foot-long classroom-on-wheels, a customized training directly brought to regional companies and schools. This mobile unit helps manufacturers keep pace with ever-evolving demands and to stay competitive in the global market.

The truck trailer is equipped with classroom space for ten students and a lab featuring state-of-the-art technology. The trailer can accommodate various classes in hydraulics, programmable logic controller, electrical and more. The mobile unit was released in 2017 and has been in demand. This innovative approach to manufacturing training has drawn national attention.

In the recent Industry Week Column, Co-authors Ethan Karp and Jessica Borza wrote that stakeholders nationwide could learn from around driving awareness, education, building a more diverse workforce, and innovative training. Institutional support, infrastructure, and diversity are needed for the next generation of manufacturing talent.

Improved access to training could be an important aspect in implementing strategies for filling the talent gap among other efforts.

"Community colleges have a long history of forming cutting-edge partnerships with manufacturers to provide innovative, flexible and affordable training — training that businesses, looking to close the skills gap, need more than ever," Karp and Borza write. “Cuyahoga Community College’s Manufacturing Technology Center of Excellence, for instance, brings its mobile training unit in a 53-foot-long trailer right to the doorsteps of local companies and schools.”

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