BETTENDORF – As businesses and industry evolve at an ever faster pace, the next wave of change in the form of digitization and automation, known as ‘Industry 4.0’, will require new processes for businesses. companies and new skills for employees.
Eastern Iowa Community Colleges has partnered with Iowa Community Colleges and the Center for Industrial Research and Service at Iowa State University to announce a new consortium to help the manufacturing sector adapt to these changes. The training and awareness initiative includes partners from across the state.
“Iowa has the right mix of relationships and resources to help our manufacturers stay competitive through a global technology revolution that is transforming factories and jobs,” said Governor Kim Reynolds. “This important partnership addresses a critical need identified in the state’s strategic plan on Manufacturing 4.0 by bringing together key education and industry players in a global effort to prepare workers for the skills they need.” in an increasingly digital economy. ”
A January report from the Iowa Economic Development Authority “Seizing the Manufacturing Opportunity 4.0: A Strategic Plan for the Iowa Manufacturing Industry” called for advancing the knowledge base, expertise and collaboration between state enterprises. This partnership will address workforce, training / education and onboarding needs to help manufacturers strategically address challenges related to technology investments, workforce pool and workforce talent. -work. The Consortium will support the efforts of Iowa manufacturers to seize opportunities and remain competitive by providing consulting, education, implementation and resource access services.
“EICC looks forward to working with manufacturers in the region to help them benefit from the support and resources of Manufacturing 4.0,” said Paula Arends, Director of Continuing Education and Professional Development for Eastern Iowa . “This is a large-scale, state-wide effort that can really have a huge impact on how we manufacture in Iowa.
The Consortium includes key state associations and agencies that have agreed to partner in the best interests of manufacturing companies. This unique collaboration will implement a statewide education and awareness strategy and lead to the development of a curriculum to meet the training needs of manufacturing companies of all sizes across all Iowa. In addition to personalized training for the existing workforce, the group will develop and enhance certificate, diploma and degree programs to ensure that employers have access to advanced vocational training and career paths, now and in the future.
Additional consortium partners include:
● Business and Industry Association
● Iowa Department of Education
● Iowa Economic Development Authority
● Iowa Workforce Development
● Professional developers from Iowa
● Institute for Decision-Making, University of Northern Iowa
The consortium began meeting in April to set goals and timelines.
A local action team met in August to begin planning for an industry rollout in the region in September. Members of the action team include Christine Caves (Quad City Chamber of Commerce), Erin Cole (Clinton Regional Development Corporation), Martha Garcia-Tappa (IowaWORKS), David Heiar (Jackson County Economic Alliance), Brian Kelly (Clinton Community College), Lisa Neason (Eastern Iowa / Western Illinois Advanced Manufacturing Sector Board, Mandy Parchert (Eastern Iowa / Western Illinois Advanced Manufacturing Sector Board), Tami Petsche (Quad City Chamber), Jeremy Pickard (Muscatine Community College), Erik Reader ( Greater Muscatine Chamber of Commerce and Industry), Angela Rheingans (DeWitt Chamber and Development Company), Matt Schmit, (Scott Community College), Andy Sokolovich (Clinton Regional Development Corporation), Jeff White (CIRAS) and Paula Arends (Eastern Iowa Community Colleges ).
For more information on local efforts or to learn more about Manufacturing 4.0, contact Arends at [email protected]