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  • Reina Manongsong

AMDev learns from the U.S. MassBridge Program

Dr. George Westerman sharing insights from MIT’s experience in planning and implementing the U.S. MassBridge Program. March 14, 2023.
In photo: Dr. George Westerman sharing insights from MIT’s experience in planning and implementing the U.S. MassBridge Program. March 14, 2023.

The Unilab Foundation (ULF), through the Advanced Manufacturing Workforce Development Alliance (AMDev) Program, conducted a learning session on the experiences of partners from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in planning and implementing the United States MassBridge Program. MIT Sloan School of Management Senior Lecturer and Global Opportunity Initiative Founder Dr. George Westerman facilitated the hybrid learning session held on March 14, 2023 at the ClaimDev Office in Malate, Manila and broadcasted live via MS Teams.

The U.S. MassBridge Program was a $3.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense's Manufacturing Technology Program (DoD ManTech) for the development of a national model of manufacturing technician training program, in which MIT led the work on skills road mapping and curriculum benchmarking for the development of the courses.

Dr. Westerman shared insights from their experience in developing the state-based training and career pathway model for technicians that was deployed through vocational and academic high schools and community colleges across Massachusetts.

Adding local context to the discussion, AMDev Chief of Party, Dr. Danilo Lachica, provided an overview of the Philippine manufacturing industry, and Center for Integrated STEM Education, Inc. (CISTEM) Executive Director, Dr. Gonzalo Serafica, presented the preliminary findings of the Advanced Manufacturing Workforce Survey. The AMDev model companies shared their experiences in continuously upskilling their workforce and the challenges of skilled workforce retention. The results of the discussions were lessons that manufacturing companies can adopt to develop their existing workforce and contribute to the intake of learners from higher education into the industry.

A total of 42 representatives from the Alliance members, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), U.S. Department of State, Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines Foundation, Inc. (SEIPI), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and the Philippine Trade Training Center (PTTC) participated in the learning session.

AMDev is a 5-year USAID program implemented by ULF that aims to develop a pipeline of highly skilled and adaptive workforce that meet the evolving requirements of advanced manufacturing through streamlining of standards for skills, qualifications descriptors, competency, and training for incoming and existing manufacturing workforce.


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