Red Rocks Community College delivers training to fill state need for Advanced Manufacturing experts

More information: Kimberly Rein, 303-914-6260
August 8, 2016



Red Rocks Community College delivers training to fill state need for Advanced Manufacturing experts

Lakewood, CO—Red Rocks Community College is answering a statewide priority to provide a well‐trained workforce in the advanced manufacturing field by providing an Advanced Manufacturing Career Pathway program. In the spring of 2013, the Colorado General Assembly addressed this need with the passage of House Bill 13‐1165 which authorized the creation of a Manufacturing Career Pathway. Providing the training for this workforce is a major factor in growing existing industries and attracting new ones to Colorado.

The goal of the Manufacturing Career Pathway addressed by HB 1165 is to provide efficient and economical “on ramps” for individuals interested in pursuing careers in the manufacturing sector. The Pathway will include:

  • Career exploration information for students in middle school interested in pursuing a career in advanced manufacturing
  • Development of secondary programs that offer a clearly‐defined pathway to the acquisition of Industry‐designated stackable certifications, Associate, Bachelor or graduate degrees designed with industry input
  • Multiple entry and exit points offering opportunities for workers re‐entering the workforce or existing individuals looking for career advancement
  • Identification of the academic, workplace, and technical competencies identified by manufacturing employers necessary for career progression in high‐demand manufacturing occupations
  • Technical skill assessments, academic and career counseling, and other support services

“What Red Rocks Community College is doing for this industry is amazing,” said Jo O’Brien, Program Director for Manufacturing Pathways.  “Our state has so many job openings in these specialized fields. By using sophisticated outreach, this community college is showing off its talent development and customizing a way for each student to get quickly qualified for these hot jobs.”

For high school students, the benefits are clear. A student can jump‐start his or her career by beginning technical education in high school or at a career technology center. High school students can also take advantage of concurrent enrollment programs which offer college credit for work completed while in high school, reducing the cost and time requirement of an education.

For adults who may be looking for a career change or looking to advance, the Pathway provides opportunities for “in‐demand” skill training in an educational system that values experience and credit for prior learning. In the advanced manufacturing sector, this initiative provides employers with a chance to help shape the education system so that it supplies a workforce with the skills needed to succeed in today’s competitive advanced manufacturing workplace.

The Colorado Manufacturing Career Pathway Initiative is a collaboration of manufacturing, education and labor leaders that provides comprehensive insight necessary for Colorado to be competitive in a global advanced manufacturing economy. The Initiative provides a roadmap that prepares the manufacturing workforce with rewarding, high‐skill, high‐wage and sustainable careers in the advanced manufacturing sector.

About Red Rocks Community College:  Established in 1969, Red Rocks Community College delivers high-quality, affordable education programs leading to two-year degrees or professional certificates. The college serves over 14,000 students per year online and at two campus locations in Lakewood and Arvada. The 55,000 square-foot expansion of the Arvada campus will open on August 16, adding new programs and tripling capacity for enrollment and workforce training.

Monday, August 8, 2016