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Mike Peterson College of the Redwoods Professor, Manufacturing Technology.

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Presentation on theme: "Mike Peterson College of the Redwoods Professor, Manufacturing Technology."— Presentation transcript:

1 Mike Peterson College of the Redwoods Professor, Manufacturing Technology

2 Today’s Presentation Purdue University’s innovative Weekend Master’s Degree program Discuss my Needs Assessment Study, a directed project for my master’s degree Report findings Answer Questions

3 The Weekend Master’s Degree in Technology at Purdue Distance/On-Campus Hybrid  Weekend class meetings in West Lafayette Indiana Cohort based  22 months, 5 semesters Directed Project versus Master’s Thesis

4 “Generally, a thesis is theory oriented, and begins with the posing of a question that will in some way contribute to the building or validating of theory.” “A project is generally intended as an application of an existing methodology or procedure… Thus, it is more practice oriented, even though it still must have a solid grounding in the literature.”

5 Cohort Nine

6 Directed Project Spring 2009 Purdue University College of Technology


8 Diversified Health Care Specialty Agriculture, Food, and Beverages Building and Systems Construction and Maintenance Investment Support Services Management and Innovation Services Niche Manufacturing “The six targets of opportunity are growing faster than the rest of the region’s economy— particularly the private sector economy.”

9 Skill Needs Assessment of Niche Manufacturers in Humboldt County California

10 Directed Project Committee Dr. Michael J. Dyrenfurth, Chair Technology Dr. Kathryne A. Newton Technology Dr. Donald D. Buskirk Technology


12 The Problem Manufacturing companies are facing a shortage of skilled employees to perform the work needed to meet the demands for their products. College programs that teach technology have difficulty recruiting students.

13 128,864 9,878,554

14 Trinidad Mckinleyville Arcata Blue Lake Humboldt State University Eureka College of the Redwoods Samoa Fortuna Scotia Rio Dell Loleta Ferndale Garberville Eureka/Arcata Airport



17 Purpose of the Project Identify the nature of the shortage of skilled workers at niche manufacturers in Humboldt County by conducting a skill needs assessment.

18 Project Deliverables Inventory of manufacturers Assessment of number of manufacturing employees Itemization and analysis of employer needs

19 Review of Literature Give compelling evidence of labor shortage Justification for a needs assessment Document advantages of an interview methodology over surveys for this study

20 Project Methodology Interview instrument North Coast Region Labor Market Information Division database of 200 manufacturing companies filtered to a population of 67 17 companies interviewed

21 Five Sections of the Interview Instrument 1. General information about the company 2. Information about the skill level of newly hired production workers 3. Rankings of specific skills and satisfaction level with those skills 4. Requirements and methods relating to skills training 5. The relationship between the company and CR

22 The Interview Instrument Directed Project Interview Instrument - Peterson.docx

23 Findings

24 Five Year Change in Number of Production Workers

25 Findings Five Year Change Product Output per Labor Hour Input

26 Findings Frequency of Manufacturing Technologies Identified

27 Findings Other Technologies

28 Findings Difficulty in Finding Skilled Workers and Gap in Skills Required

29 Findings Ranked List of Gap between Skill Importance and Employee Ability

30 Findings Barriers to Training

31 Conclusions Niche manufacturing companies in Humboldt County are small companies with specialized products and very specialized needs. These manufacturers require production employees to have specialized skills that require training beyond the high school level. Employers in Humboldt County have difficulty finding skilled employees and they rely on in- house training to improve employee skills.

32 Conclusions Gaps exist between the skills requirements of these companies and skills that newly hired production employees possess. There is a preference given to graduates from the CR when applying for production jobs in Humboldt County. Specialized training programs at the college are needed to help the niche manufacturers served by the college.

33 Recommendations Revise interview instrument for small manufacturers Assess soft-skill needs Continue research to discover more of the population Develop programs at the college to help train the trainers

34 Mike Peterson College of the Redwoods Professor Manufacturing Technology

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