MCC Trains 20 Manufacturing Production Workers

(Bradenton, Fla., July 17, 2007) - Twenty students ranging in age from 17 to over 50 recently completed a free entry-level manufacturing production worker training program provided by Manatee Community College (MCC) at MCC Lakewood Ranch.  Local companies that sent employees for the training included Tropicana Products Inc., Bradenton, and Tervis Tumbler, Venice.

MCC is a member of a statewide consortium of community colleges and workforce partners that received a Workforce Florida Inc. grant to provide manufacturing education, training and certification. The college's career and technical education department, headed by Dr. Idelia Phillips, was the first among several community colleges in the state to offer a training program in response to manufacturers' call for workers capable of operating and maintaining high-tech manufacturing equipment. Salaries for entry-level manufacturing production workers are approximately $30,000 per year.

Training for MCC's 90-hour program was provided by technical specialists from Tropicana. Students who completed the training are eligible to take a Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC) Production Technician Certification Examination.

A June 21 training completion ceremony featured speakers Peter Straw, executive director, Sarasota Area Manufacturing Association (SAMA); Eric Roe, director,  Florida Advanced Technological Education Center for Manufacturing Education (FLATE) and principal investigator for the Employ Florida Banner Center; and Don Gugliuzza, senior manager of organizational development, Tropicana.

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