In 2014, Corning committed to pilot a program that will consist of a series of workshops for youth, ages 15-21, in order to introduce youth in Corning, New York to jobs in the manufacturing industry. The first workshop will involve a tour of a manufacturing facility that offers a realistic view of what working in a factory is like, and the workshop will include interaction with employees and management. Two subsequent workshops will focus on work and life skills needed to obtain these jobs, such as basic math and English skills that are central to passing an entrance exam, the importance of attendance and presentation in the workplace, and basic financial education on salary, taxes, banking and saving for life events and retirement.
Corning will provide access to a manufacturing facility, along with the people and resources to make the experience worthwhile for participants. Corning will leverage employees who have expertise in HR, manufacturing, education, and finance. Corning will partner with local schools, BOCES and workforce development agencies to target the opportunity youth. They will pilot the program in Corning, NY. The three workshops will be offered over a 12-week period and Corning is targeting 15 students in their first series.
Corning will also engage other companies to provide new job pathways to youth by: 1) reaching out to additional industry companies to consider making similar Commitments to Action; and 2) joining a working group with other companies to develop and publicize strategies for hiring, training or mentoring opportunity youth.
July 2014: Development of curriculum
August 2014: Actual agreement with partners to advertise to reach opportunity youth
September 2014: Scheduling and registration for workshops
September-November 2014: Conducting workshops - monitoring continued attendance for entire series
December 2014: Follow up Surveys to assess impact and perception with participants through social media or electronic communication
With an increased emphasis on getting a college education in order to succeed in America, the need for an equally important set of workers has been sidelined. Manufacturing jobs can provide substantive work that earns a premium over non-manufacturing jobs. Skilled trades in manufacturing are in short supply in the US but often these jobs are not portrayed as worthy of pursuit by our young people.
To ensure that America has the manufacturing skills base to keep manufacturing thriving in America we need to elevate the stature of those jobs by educating young people about what is available and what they can expect from a career in manufacturing. (US Department of Commerce article titled The Benefits of Manufacturing Jobs)
Part of the initial plan was for Corning to expand the offerings of this program by sharing the materials as a packaged program. Corning had and has continued to plan to connect with other manufacturers to solicit their active involvement in planning, hosting, and facilitating this workshop in their communities with the same or similar target population.