The Minnesota Advanced Manufacturing Partnership (MNAMP) was created to help close the "skills gap" in Minnesota by implementing a structure for advanced manufacturing education that emphasizes a standardized core curriculum, along with employer-driven apprenticeships and cooperative education opportunities. MNAMP is a Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) system consortium of 12 colleges and two Centers of Excellence, which include South Central College (lead institution), Century College, Dakota County Technical Colleg, Lake Superior College, Minneapolis Community and Technical College, Minnesota State Community and Technical College, Minnesota West Community and Technical College, Normandale Community College, Northland Community & Technical College, Ridgewater College, Riverland Community College, Saint Paul College, 360° Manufacturing and Applied Engineering ATE Regional Center of Excellence (led by Bemidji State University) and Minnesota Center for Engineering & Manufacturing Excellence (led by Minnesota State University, Mankato).
To align training and fill jobs across the state, MNAMP established the Learn, Work, Earn program, which targets TAA-eligible workers, veterans and other adult learners seeking training to secure and/or maintain employment. In September the U.S. Department of Labor announced that South Central College would receive a $15 million Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant to fund Learn, Work, Earn. The project focuses on providing career pathways in advanced manufacturing in the fields of mechatronics, machining and welding. Participants will be able to earn stackable, portable industry-recognized credentials while simultaneously working in the industry. Participants will be able to enter academic programs at multiple points based on assessment results that match individual skills. Key components of system change will include:
- Incorporating a Core Curriculum in all three programs which aligns with the Certified Production Technician (CPT) through MSSC
- Providing Employer-driven apprenticeships and cooperative education opportunities
- Establishing an assessment system to award credit for prior learning which aligns with national industry standards and credentials.
- Enhancing the image of manufacturing and raise awareness of available high wage jobs.