We live in a highly competitive world and to increase our opportunities for economic success in the global marketplace, we must make dramatic improvements to our education and workforce development systems. The key to a winning strategy and possibly even our economic survival-for both the public and private sectors-especially our manufacturing community, is the development of “smart people.”
For Kentucky’s manufacturing community to make a successful transition from traditional to advanced manufacturing [production of high-tech products and utilization of lean systems knowledge (maximizing value/quality of products for customers, at the lowest possible costs and delivered consistently in a timely manner)], we must develop smart people for both the manufacturing floor and the business office. KAM strongly believes that facilitating collaboration between the manufacturing community, education and government sectors to build career pathways for high growth industries, including advanced manufacturing, will connect primary, secondary and postsecondary education together in a way that will create the pipeline of smart people we need to realize economic success now and in the future.
The enactment of “The Career Pathways Act” sponsored by Senator Jack Westwood during the 2012 Session of the Kentucky General Assembly is critical to the Commonwealth’s ongoing efforts to create the pipeline of “smart people” we must have to compete. This legislation includes legislative goals for career and technical education; requires the Department of Education to issue core content standards, assess student progress, and develop new courses relevant to college and career readiness; provides for the creation and use of evidence-based models assessing the needs of at-risk students; establishes a career and technical education accessibility fund; addresses unmet needs for career and technical education; and adds criteria to the assessment of technical education students.
The following graphic is a depiction of a working career pathway that Toyota Motor Manufacturing of Kentucky (TMMK) has promoted for several years to implement its best practice industrial maintenance education oppotunity, the Advanced Manufacturing Technician Program (AMT). The Kentucky Association of Manufacturers (KAM) believes this work/study program should be expanded in the Bluegrass Region and replicated throughout the Commonwealth.
Career Pathway Model (383.05 kB)
Advanced Manufacturing Technician Program (570.22 kB)