Free Eight-Week Training Program to Provide Pathway to Manufacturing Careers


Madison College has announced its ‘Invitation to Manufacturing’ training program, a free eight-week training program created and designed to help people gain the skills needed to begin a career in manufacturing.

Funded by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), the program was developed in collaboration with the Workforce Development Board of South-Central Wisconsin (WDBSCW), community-based organizations and multiple manufacturing companies in the region. The goal is to provide an opportunity to explore career pathways in manufacturing through hands-on related skills, while connecting members of the community with local manufacturers, that offer both family-sustaining wage and long-term potential career growth.

“Invitation to Manufacturing addresses multiple issues our community is experiencing by preparing community members for a skilled well-paying career and at the same time, helping local manufacturers fill vacant positions,” explained Ron Olson, associate dean, School of Technologies and Trades at Madison College.

“Manufacturing is a key part of Wisconsin’s economy and the careers it provides are a pathway to economic well-being for thousands,” said Missy Hughes, secretary and CEO of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation. “Wisconsin’s $128 million investment in the Workforce Innovation Grants, which support these programs, are key to our state growing its workforce and building an economy that works for all.”

Invitation to Manufacturing FREE Training Program | Madison College
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Watch an overview of the Invitation to Manufacturing program.

After some initial pilots earlier this year, the first cohort of about 24 students will start in September with another cohort of students to start in November.

Olson has been working with the industry partners and community organizations for nearly a year to turn this program into a reality. Organizations like the Badger Prairie Needs Network, Centro Hispano of Dane County, Urban League of Greater Madison, Latino Academy of Workforce Development, Inc., Dane County Job Center, and Forward Service Corporation are helping to generate student interest, though the program is open to community members outside of those organizations as well.

The core 44-hour manufacturing training program will be taught by Madison College faculty. The three-part program includes: Introduction to Manufacturing Essentials, Manufacturing Skills Training, and Career Path Preparation. The hands-on Manufacturing Skills training course provides skills in 3 possible tracks: Metal Fabrication/Welding, Metal Machining/Quality, and Plastics Processing. Participants will also have an opportunity to participate in an industry tour of a local company for further career exploration.

“Having the opportunity to coach, council and guide program participants through a mock interview process provides great networking opportunities for local industry partners while providing transferable skills for students entering the workforce,” said Greg Schinker, production manager at McFarlane Manufacturing Company, one of the program’s industry partners in Sauk City, Wis.