Thursday, February 2, 2012

New Center for Business and Industry program aims to boost manufacturing skills

Mark Madore believes it is critical that his employees possess core competencies common to the manufacturing industry. That’s why the director of operations for Sparton Electronics Corp. in DeLeon Springs has enrolled a group of his 424 employees in a new Certified Production Technician training program (CPT) being offered by Daytona State College’s Center for Business and Industry.
 “I’m an advocate for continuous training of our personnel,” he said. “What makes this program attractive is that students can matriculate into other degree programs upon completion, so not only are they getting the training that can enhance their manufacturing job skills immediately, they can take that effort and add to it.”
The CPT training program launched its first nine-week certification classes in late January.  The program is intended to be the first rung in a tiered system of skills training offered locally by Daytona State to current and potential manufacturing industry employees. It addresses the core technical competencies of higher skilled production workers in all sectors of manufacturing. The Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC), a credentialing organization endorsed by the National Association of Manufacturers, awards certificates to individuals who pass any of the CPT program’s four production modules: Safety; Quality Practices & Measurement; Manufacturing Processes & Production; and Maintenance Awareness. The fully credentialed CPT certificate is awarded to those who pass all four exams.
The MSSC certification is part of a national effort to ensure that both entering and incumbent manufacturing industry workers are flexible, easily trainable, motivated and able to keep pace with the rapid technological changes in the industry. “Skill-specific certifications are becoming increasingly important to the manufacturing industry,” said Mary Bruno, associate vice president of Daytona State's School of Continuing and Workforce Education. “Our goal is to train and deliver quality employees to area manufacturers so they can sustain and expand their operations. This program enables Daytona State to provide our students with national certifications that have labor market value, which they can ultimately combine with for-credit education programs offered by the college.”
The program comes at a time when members of the Volusia Manufacturers Association, which endorses the program, anticipate ramping up operations in 2012.
Local businesses leaders and officials with the Center for Business Excellence, which partially underwrites the CPT program, view it as part of the mix that can grow the area’s manufacturing industry. The program emulates similar initiatives under way nationally, such as Minnesota’s Right Skills Now program, that are designed to mitigate a nationwide shortage of skilled production workers. The programs provide the basic training that can help people land entry level jobs in manufacturing, then advance to higher levels of employment through more job-specific education and training in areas such as precision machining, welding, engineering, autoCAD, computer technology and other programs offered by Daytona State.
“I think this program establishes a benchmark for our employee knowledge base,” Madore said, adding that while the worldwide producer of complex electromechanical devices employs highly skilled workers to operate its diversified production equipment, even they can benefit from the CPT training. “It enables someone who, for instance, is good with mechanics to learn other aspects of what skills are needed out on the floor.”
During his State of the Union Address last month, President Barack Obama pointed to boosting American manufacturing as a crucial component of job expansion and rebuilding the nation’s economic vitality. He called for American manufacturers to bring back their overseas operations and proposed new incentives that would make “Made in America” production more economically viable and profitable for the sector.
However, manufacturing industry experts suggest that there are plenty of production jobs available in the US, but not enough skilled workers to fill those jobs. A recent report by the Manufacturing Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based affiliate of the National Association of Manufacturers, found that industry leaders struggle to find workers with the skills they need to keep growing their businesses. The report notes there are more than 500,000 manufacturing jobs currently available nationwide.
Part of the problem, according to another institute study, rests in the public’s perception of manufacturing jobs. The study notes that, while most American’s believe a strong manufacturing base is crucial to the economic health of local communities and the nation at large, few would choose the industry as a career choice. The reasons cited include concern about the long-term stability of manufacturing jobs stemming from a history of companies moving their operations overseas to save costs and a perceived inability of the government to lure them back home.
“Perception toward workforce careers is an issue,” Bruno said. “We still have a ‘college for all’ mentality in the US. However, some degrees don’t hold as much value as they once did. That’s the theory behind the whole skills-gap argument set forth by the industry. There are a lot of people out there with degrees, but unless it is something that has a hard skill attached to it, today’s economy is not necessarily looking for that.”
For more information on when the next round of CPT classes will be offered, as well as other Center for Business and Industry programs, please call (386) 506-4224 or email

No butts about it, Daytona State moving toward ban on tobacco

Riding a national trend in higher education, Daytona State College is considering a proposed policy that would make its campuses tobacco free zones.
While much work remains to be done before procedures for implementation and enforcement can be written and adopted, a draft policy currently is being reviewed by the college’s internal constituent groups, which include faculty, staff and students. Under a new governance structure established by the college, these groups will have the opportunity to refine the proposal’s specific language before it is presented to Daytona State President Carol Eaton and her senior executive staff for consideration and final approval by the District Board of Trustees.
“We want to make sure it gets a good, thorough vetting and conversation before moving forward,” Eaton said recently.
Such a ban, as the draft policy currently is written, would prohibit smoking by anyone on college property, both indoors and outdoors, including faculty, staff, students, vendors and other visitors. It also prohibits “the use of an electronic cigarette or any other device intended to simulate smoking and the use of smokeless tobacco, including snuff; chewing tobacco; smokeless pouches; and any other form of loose-leaf, smokeless tobacco; and the use of unlit cigarettes, cigars, and pipe tobacco.”
The draft policy does not establish designated smoking areas on campus. Nor does it specifically speak to how a ban on tobacco use on college property would be enforced. That would be addressed by a college-wide task force comprised of representatives of departments that have a stake in implementing and promoting Daytona State as a tobacco-free zone, according to School of Health and Wellness Coordinator Nancy Homan, who, along with Fitness Center Specialist John Tosi, is a principal investigator for a smoking awareness and cessation grant awarded to the college in 2010 by Area Health Education Centers of Northeast Florida.
That grant resulted in the creation of a “No Butts Committee” at Daytona State, whose members include Homan, Tosi, faculty members Christel Saylor and Pam Ridilla, and career employee Lori Lemoine. The committee is supported by representatives of the School of Health, Human and Public Services; Co-Curricular Activities and Athletics; the Student Government Association; the environmental, dental and respiratory clubs; and Counseling Services, to name a few. In addition to its mission to educate college constituents and the general public about the effects of tobacco use, the No Butts Committee also was given the task of developing a tobacco-free campus policy by the former college administration led by then Interim President Frank Lombardo.
In considering the draft policy, the committee surveyed more than 1,000 students and college employees during fall 2010 and spring 2011. The surveys revealed that while more than 20 percent of those responding smoked, more than 60 percent of those smokers would like to quit. The surveys also noted that 70 percent of respondents have experienced discomfort with second-hand smoke when entering college facilities.
Homan said the overriding goal of the proposed policy is to create a healthy environment for students, employees and visitors. “Smoking is increasingly being prohibited in public facilities across the country, as well as by employers,” she said. “As an institution of higher learning, we are obligated to provide our students with the kind of culture that will prepare them for the workforce.”
Pointing out that college students are among the largest groups targeted by tobacco companies, she added, “Tobacco-free environments are not about forcing individuals to change their lifestyle or behavior. Rather, they intend to protect the greater campus community and college interests.”
According to the American Non-Smokers’ Rights Foundation, 648 colleges and universities across the nation completely prohibit tobacco use on their campuses as of January this year. This includes only those colleges that have already enacted and are enforcing their policies. Hundreds of other institutions are considering enacting tobacco-free campus policies.
In Florida, the list of institutions which already have policies in place includes:
·         Edison State College
·         Florida Hospital College of Health Sciences
·         Florida International University
·         Gulf Coast State College
·         Miami Dade College
·         South Florida Community College
·         University of Central Florida
·         University of Florida
·         University of Miami Medical Campus
·         University of South Florida
·         Valencia College
·         Warner University
Homan said Daytona State’s proposal mirrors policies at South Florida Community College, the University of Florida and Edison State.

“We don’t have to reinvent the wheel,” she said, referring how Daytona State’s initiative will ultimately come to fruition. “It’s being done, and we can take some lessons from some of our sister institutions that have already done this.”

Filmmaker to speak on legacy of Negro Baseball Leagues at Daytona State

As a filmmaker, author, performer and motivational speaker, Byron Motley conveys the history of the Negro Baseball Leagues from a unique angle that is as insightful and educational as it is entertaining.
Motely will bring his presentation entitled “The Negro Baseball Leagues: An American Legacy” to Daytona State College on Thursday, Feb, 9 at 7 p.m. The event will be in the Theater Center on the Daytona Beach Campus, 1200 W. International Speedway Blvd. Admission is free and open to the public.
The presentation will chronicle the creation of the Negro Leagues that was formed decades before Major League Baseball was integrated, as well as the lives of some of its all-time great players. It will emphasize how the league evolved and players were affected over decades of slow progress in American race relations that ultimately led to desegregation in professional baseball and in society.
On his website, Motley notes that this is not an African-American story, but an All-American story, one about men and women who “simply wanted to play ball.”
The son of Bob Motley, the only living umpire from the Negro Leagues, Byron Motley shares his father’s behind-the-plate perspective of how the Negro Leagues helped to transform not only America’s pastime, but society as well.
The presentation will include segments from “Oh How They Lived: Stories of the Negro Leagues,” an upcoming television documentary produced by Motley which features interviews with his father and baseball legends Hank Aaron and Willie Mays. Also highlighted are such national figures as author Maya Angelou, former President Bill Clinton, retired Secretary of State Colin Powell and broadcasting’s Walter Cronkite.
The presentation is sponsored by Daytona State’s Office of Student Activities in celebration of Black History Month.
For more information, please call (386) 506-4417.

Notables. . .

Dr. Betty Green
Dr. Betty Green of Daytona State’s School of Education is the editor of the Florida Foreign Language Journal a peer-reviewed publication of the Florida Foreign Language Association.
The publication comes out several times a year and is created by and distributed to secondary and post-secondary foreign language teachers. Its objective is to serve as a vehicle for expression by teachers, students and the greater general public who have an interest in furthering the instruction and knowledge of foreign languages. In Volusia County Public Schools alone, there are 99 different languages. Next fall, a Russian charter school will be started in Flagler County, according to Les Potter, chair of Daytona State’s School of Education. Potter recently published an article in the Journal entitled “Multicultural Issues for the Florida Middle School Administrator.” For more information concerning the journal, please email Dr. Green or call (386) 506-3091.
Daytona State music student Raymond Milcarsky recently won the brass division of the Florida College System Activities Association Artist Competition in conjunction with that same organization’s annual Winter Music Symposium held this year at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton. In addition to the immediate honor of being selected a winner from a pool of up to 20 other competitors from the Florida State College System, Raymond will receive a scholarship, through the organization, to a Florida state university of his choice to continue his pursuit of a music degree.