A trip to ArcelorMittal helped gear up Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) secondary students from Bishop Tonnos Catholic Secondary School for Manufacturing Month.
The SHSM program, offered in partnership with ArcelorMittal Dofasco, Mohawk College and the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board, provides high school students with an opportunity to explore science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) related careers in Advanced Manufacturing at both Bishop Tonnos and Bishop Ryan Catholic Secondary Schools.
On October 8, Richard Do Couto, Senior Specialist, Corporate Responsibility for ArcelorMittal Dofasco welcomed Bishop Tonnos Advanced-Manufacturing students who participated in a variety of experiential-learning opportunities such as operational tours and manufacturing team building activities as part of their unique involvement with Manufacturing Skills Standards Council (MSSC) the Certified Production Technician (CPT) training.
“This MSSC CPT program is the next evolution of the ArcelorMittal Dofasco Advanced Manufacturing Program that allows students to formally document their knowledge and receive a manufacturing industry accredited certification,” said teacher John Ivkovic.
This type of student certification program would be to the best of our knowledge a first in Ontario and Canada, noted Do Couto.
He added that the revamped ArcelorMittal Dofasco Advanced Manufacturing will offer students with a new set of tools to ensure that they understand advanced manufacturing and have a high knowledge about what is required in order to keep pace with technological change – the “Industrial 4.0 of the Future.”
The program is not only important, but timely, as the workplace is rapidly changing, and highly skilled and multi-talented workers will be in demand as baby boomers (which currently make up 30% of Canada’s total population) retire.
“Advanced manufacturers, like ArcelorMittal Dofasco, are going through a workforce demographic shift,” said Do Couto.
Currently, the company is hiring between 200 to 300 new employees a year due to retirements.
As a result of the deficit of qualified individuals, many positions are going unfilled. “There is a strong need for graduates in STEM and skilled trade careers,” said Ivkovic. “These are high paying careers.”
The MSSC certification program has been developed, validated, piloted and deployed in the United States and has annually updated standards, courses and computer-based training materials.
“Our goal is to continue to highlight to students and their influencers the various exciting STEM and skilled trade careers available to them with advanced manufacturers like ArcelorMittal Dofasco. As well, this program will help to emphasis the core competencies of the need for a highly skilled workforce of the future.”
Specialist High Skills Major programs, like Advanced Manufacturing, “allow students to customize their high school experience through a variety of new and enhanced learning options,” said Superintendent of Education Morris Hucal.
“The program is an industry-led, training, assessment and certification system focused on the core skills and knowledge needed by advanced manufacturers like ArcelorMittal Dofasco,” said Ivkovic.
As part of the program, students receive first-hand on-site training from staff at ArcelorMittal Dofasco and Mohawk College. These professionals will serve as mentors, career advisors and offer opportunities for experiential learning while participating in their classroom learning and CPT training under the supervision of specially trained Advanced Manufacturing teachers.
Along with industry experience and having undergone the MSSC training, Ivkovic added that the CPT training is based upon industry-defined and endorsed standards that bring learning-to-life.
“It offers the opportunity to get a head start as students demonstrate that they have acquired the skills increasingly needed in the technology-intensive jobs of the 21st century.”
“This is a very exciting time for us at the HWCDSB, the strength of our partnership is evident in this new innovative program as we support our students and encourage post-secondary pathways that offer a bright future.”