May 16, 2020

New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program awarded funding from Walmart to train students

Sean Galea-Pace
2 min
The New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program (NJMEP) has been granted funding from Walmart in order to use Certified Logistics Associate training for...

The New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program (NJMEP) has been granted funding from Walmart in order to use Certified Logistics Associate training for students at Donald M. Payne School of Technology.

It is believed the NJMEP will use the funds to train 20 students and one teacher in the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC) Certified Logistics Associate Program at the Donald M. Payne School of Technology in Newark, New Jersey at the beginning of May.

Patricia Moran, Director of Apprenticeships, NJMEP, commented: “This program is a direct link between education and employment. With a growing need for employable workers in the local manufacturing and logistics industries, this program is a great opportunity for students to develop skills and earn certification for employment.”


The program includes modules on global supply chain logistics, logistics environment, safe material handling, safety principles and equipment operation. The successful candidates that complete the program will receive a nationally-recognised MSSC Certified Logistics Associate certification.

Dicxiana Carbonell, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction at Essex County Schools of Technology, said: “If people want to get into the manufacturing and logistics industries, they need to look into this program. The industry is getting more competitive, and having this certification really sets you apart. This training will better prepare an applicant to move up through a company.”

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May 12, 2021

Gartner: Leaders Lack Skilled Smart Manufacturing Workers

2 min
57% of manufacturing leaders feel that their organisations lack the skilled workers needed to support smart manufacturing digitalisation

With organisations rapidly adopting industry 4.0 capabilities to increase productivity, efficiency, transparency, and quality as well as reduce cost, manufacturers “are under pressure to bring their workforce into the 21st century,” says Gartner.

While more connected factory workers are leveraging digital tools and data management techniques to improve decision accuracy, increase knowledge and lessen variability, 57% of manufacturing leaders feel that their organisations lack the skilled workers needed to support their smart manufacturing digitalisation plans.

“Our survey revealed that manufacturers are currently going through a difficult phase in their digitisation journey toward smart manufacturing,” said Simon Jacobson, Vice President analyst, Gartner Supply Chain practice.

“They accept that changing from a break-fix mentality and culture to a data-driven workforce is a must. However, intuition, efficiency and engagement cannot be sacrificed. New workers might be tech-savvy but lack access to best practices and know-how — and tenured workers might have the knowledge, but not the digital skills. A truly connected factory worker in a smart manufacturing environment needs both.”

Change Management

Surveying 439 respondents from North America, Western Europe and APAC, Gartner found that “organisational complexity, integration and process reengineering are the most prevalent challenges for executing smart manufacturing initiatives.” Combined they represent “the largest change management obstacle [for manufacturers],” adds Gartner.

“It’s interesting to see that leadership commitment is frequently cited as not being a challenge. Across all respondents, 83% agree that their leadership understands and accepts the need to invest in smart manufacturing. However, it does not reflect whether or not the majority of leaders understand the magnitude of change in front of them – regarding technology, as well as talent,” added Jacobson.

Technology and People

While the value and opportunities smart manufacturing can provide an organisation is being recognised, introducing technology alone isn’t enough. Gartner emphasises the importance of evolving factory workers alongside the technology, ensuring that they are on board in order for the change to be successful.

“The most immediate action is for organisations to realize that this is more than digitisation. It requires synchronising activities for capability building, capability enablement and empowering people. Taking a ‘how to improve a day in the life’ approach will increase engagement, continuous learning and ultimately foster a pull-based approach that will attract tenured workers. They are the best points of contact to identify the best starting points for automation and the required data and digital tools for better decision-making,” said Jacobson.

Long term, “it is important to establish a data-driven culture in manufacturing operations that is rooted in governance and training - without stifling employee creativity and ingenuity,” concluded Gartner.

Discover Gartner's Five Best Practices for Post COVID-19 Innovation' in manufacturing.

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