Manufacturing is one of the major economic contributors in the U.S., and its recent growth has kept up with and even outpaced that of the nation's overall economy since the recession. To keep this growth on an upward trend, public and federal services are working to bolster the sector. While the Obama administration has established innovative manufacturing research and training facilities across the nation, steps are being taken locally in spots like Louisville, Kentucky, as well. The Kentucky Manufacturing Career Center is currently hosting a free training session for people looking to find work at a factory within the state's borders.

"This is a great career opportunity for people to get a solid start in manufacturing, a field that has strong growth and career potential and is a huge part of our local and regional economy," Mayor Greg Fischer said in a news release.

What does the training offer?
The four-week training session is provided free of charge to those who enroll. It will be held five days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. between March 16 and April 10. At the end of each week, attendees will take tests. Those who pass the tests will receive certification at the end of the course that will be applicable at local factories and nationally recognized. Staff at the center are also going to help those who complete the course find jobs where they can put their newfound training to use in a lucrative field. The sessions will touch on a variety of relevant topics, including safety, quality, maintenance and manufacturing processes, ensuring that by April 10, students will be adequately armed with the know-how to successfully step into roles within a manufacturing setting. In addition to the certification, the course also grants those who pass four college credits, great for anyone working toward a degree to take their skills and knowledge even further.

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For those looking for work, registration for this session may have already closed, but this could be the first of many sessions.

How does this benefit Kentucky manufacturers?
Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and other factories in the Louisville area will be able to quickly find newly trained workers to fill roles in their companies. As technology and manufacturing processes can change and advance so rapidly, having access to people who are trained in the latest advancements can not only remove the need to train workers for new jobs, but it may also bring new ideas and viewpoints to the table when discussing lean manufacturing processes. The training sessions may introduce procedures and strategies OEMs may not otherwise have known, and workers just getting in to manufacturing might see the system from a different angle, allowing for the possibility of unique approaches to longstanding problems like excess waste or inventory management issues.

Many reports have indicated that, along with the economic growth the sector is experiencing, more jobs are being created. having direct access to qualified candidates to fill these roles can save employers a lot of time, effort and money tracking down new employees.

Can government grants bolster training efforts further?
Free training sessions are just a small part of Kentucky's continuing efforts to promote manufacturing. The career center is also aiming its sights toward technology. In fact, the White House recently recognized its code-training program, according to The Courier-Journal. Louisville is competing with 21 other cities to secure some of the $100 million in grants to bolster tech training, which could be put to good use in the manufacturing sector, as equipment and software grow more advanced, and supply chain management demands higher levels of technology for OEMs to keep up.