Dozens of business leaders, community partners and MCC-Business & Technology administrators, faculty and staff participated in a manufacturing and energy industry sector advisory meeting Tuesday night at the Business & Technology campus.
The purpose of the event was to address a future that will demand workers with specialized skills and who are prepared to work in an innovative and growing industry sector.
“It is critical that MCC works with our partners in Kansas City to help drive workforce development in the region,” said Dr. Jackie Gill, president of MCC-Business & Technology. “This meeting will help us address the overall question of how we can work with our partners to meet the industry’s demand for workers, as well as the workers’ demand for jobs that pay well.”
The event began with networking and a barbecue dinner at 5:30 p.m., followed by a welcome from Gill. Joe Roche, the dean of instruction at MCC-Business & Technology, introduced the coordinators from several programs on campus.
“We have wonderful programs on our campus that do a great job of preparing our students,” Roche said. “This event will help us prepare them even more for careers in industries that are changing rapidly.”
Coordinators David Grady (Computer Integrated Machining and Manufacturing), Mike Cline (Engineering Technology), Lou Tobin (Industrial Technology), Susan Blaser (Electric Utility Line Technician) and Kendall Davis (Welding) briefed attendees on each of their programs.
Roche then conducted a presentation on “The Skill Gap,” as thousands of workers will be retiring within the next decade, resulting in a growing need in the workforce. He noted that MCC is feeding the industry pipeline by offering certificate programs, associate’s degrees and dual-credit opportunities.
MCC-Business & Technology is in the process of revising several apprenticeship programs, recalibrating certificate programs and expanding dual credit. Long-term goals include increased integration between programs, “more paths, more flexibility, more diversity,” and expanded partnerships.
After the presentation, the more-than-60 attendees divided into smaller groups for breakout sessions on administrative visioning, energy and manufacturing.
About 30 businesses, community partners and school districts participated in the meeting: Bayer, Black & Veatch, City of Independence Power and Light, Creative Blow Mold Tooling, Economic Development Corporation, Episcopal Community Services, Fike Corporation, Full Employment Council, H&R Block, Harmar, Hillyard Career Center, Independence School District, Ingredion, Jackson County Human Resources, Kansas City Manufacturing, KCMO Division of Workforce Development, Kocher+Beck, Kohl’s Department Stores, LMV Automotive Systems Cosma International, Mars Petcare-KAN, Mid-America Regional Council/KC Degrees, Missouri Department of Transportation, Northland Career Center, Polytainers, State of Missouri Division of Workforce Development, Summit Tech Career Center, Tension Envelope Corp., Tyson Foods, Unilever and Zephyr Products Inc.
Roche and Andrew Shields, administrative assistant to the deans, planned and organized the meeting.
View a photo gallery from the event on Facebook.