VMA and ECPI University Launch Statewide Manufacturing Technology Initiative

Program Designed to Close Skills Gap, Boost Economic Development

Richmond, Va. – The Virginia Manufacturers Association (VMA) is pleased to announce ECPI University as its exclusive academic partner to increase accessibility to advanced technology industry training and credentials.  ECPI will serve as the premiere provider of the association’s industry-endorsed manufacturing technology (MT) training to prepare individuals for employment in critical occupations and to pursue further academic credentials.  Initial offerings will include the Level 1 Manufacturing Technician and Manufacturing Specialist programs.  This partnership will elevate the level of technical expertise in the Commonwealth leading to greater employment opportunities in the growing manufacturing technology profession.

In 2010, VMA and ECPI partnered to establish certified assessment centers for the Virginia Council on Advanced Technology Skills’ (VCATS) at all six Virginia campus locations.  With the opportunity to provide VCATS-endorsed Manufacturing Technology curriculum, ECPI is uniquely positioned to assist Virginia’s workforce through targeted instruction designed to close skill gaps and provide key credentials sought by the world’s leading manufacturers.

“ECPI University’s commitment to offering programs aligned with employment and career advancement opportunities makes it an ideal partner in our efforts to build a 21st century workforce,” said Katherine DeRosear, VMA’s Director of Workforce Development.  “Our industry research consistently shows there is a middle skills gap for qualified workers to meet our current and projected employment needs in Virginia.  We are pleased ECPI has accepted this opportunity to lead the state, and ultimately the nation, in positioning education as an engine for industry retention and expansion.”

“ECPI University is excited to be a part of this effort to help drive the development and training of industry-certified workers within Virginia”, said ECPI Virginia Beach Campus President Kevin Paveglio. “The academic initiative is going to lead to a ‘real-world’ outcome that will improve expansion for manufacturing in Virginia. Providing employment-relevant education is what ECPI has been doing for more than 45 years, so this is a natural fit for us.”

ECPI will adopt VMA’s workforce development model which includes providing onsite customized MT training to employers in addition to courses offered at each campus.  This blended approach is a proven strategy to retain the existing workforce while recruiting qualified individuals who are interested in advanced technology, engineering and mechatronics.

Based upon the Skilled Trades Gap Analysis commissioned by the VMA in 2007, industry leaders developed a vision for creating a skills pipeline by: establishing statewide competency-based and employer-validated standards for critical occupations; developing a competency-based training program designed by employers; creating an advanced technology career pathway; and, identifying an expert training and development institution to deliver industry-driven training and assessment.  The VMA is pleased to announce that effective December 8, 2011, this goal has been achieved in partnership with ECPI University.