Developing new leaders in manufacturing sector

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This week Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters Announcement (CME) ramped up awareness of the joint CME/Athabasca University initiative to equip Canada’s manufacturing sector with the skills needed to better compete internationally.

Athabasca University’s Faculty of Business launched the national roll-out of the Manufacturing Management Certificate of completion (MMC) during an event in Saskatchewan late in 2015. This week, CME took that a step further by reaching out to its entire membership across Canada and encouraging every company engaged in manufacturing to enroll their employees.

The MMC is the first-of-its-kind and is designed to provide the necessary applied training to develop and nurture new managers and supervisors from within existing manufacturing operations.

“Employers and employees will both benefit from our new MMC program,” says CME President and CEO Jayson Myers.

“Our members recognize that there is a significant skills gap in the field of manufacturing management. MMC is a program that can help close that gap by providing the skills necessary for promoting production or operations employees into supervisory or management positions.”

The new initiative will give people currently working in manufacturing the opportunity to develop soft skills in leadership as well as hard-management acumen, says Dr. Deborah Hurst, dean of the Faculty of Business at AU.

“The students that come to us learn about leadership and management, and they learn how to apply those concepts in their environment immediately, which gives them a return on investment. But it also gives employers a sense that we are providing business solutions,” Hurst says.

The MMC is intended for people who are new and experienced managers or with potential to move into management or supervisory positions in administration, sales, marketing and other areas of manufacturing. Each course is delivered online through Athabasca University over a span of four weeks, and requires approximately 8-12 hours per week for readings, discussions and assignments.

Athabasca University’s online environment is the best in Canada. Its faculty is world-class. And its focus on applied learning really sets it apart from other institutions,” says Derek Lothian, vice-president, Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters.

“The MMC was also designed to take advantage of the Canada Jobs Grant. Every company that sent students to our MMC pilot in 2015 received two thirds of their tuition back from the grant. This makes it very affordable for companies to send a larger number of high-potential staff members without taking a hit to their bottom line.”

Courses in the MMC start April 2016. Registration deadline is March 6, 2016. More information about courses and registration is available at the AU Faculty of Business.

Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters is the country’s largest and most influential industrial network representing 10,000 manufacturing and exporting firms coast-to-coast.