Community Update
February 2022
MSSC Updates
Next Generation Workforce Certification: Innovative Tools for Educating and Upskilling Supply Chain Automation Technicians Webinar with MSSC, Amatrol and NCATC

MSSC and Amatrol encourages the MSSC community to join us for a webinar, February 24th at 2 pm EST, in collaboration with the National Coalition of Advanced Technology Centers (NCATC) to learn more about the new MSSC Certified Technician-Supply Chain Automation (CT-SCA) Certification System. The end-goal is to provide a pipeline of much-needed automation technicians for distribution, fulfillment centers and warehousing operations. These automation technicians will be critical to ensure that supply chain operations are technologically competitive, can meet industry and customer needs, and keep-up with e-commerce demands. Click here to register! 
Community News
MSSC Instructor Spotlight

For Certified Production Technician (CPT) Instructor, Dale Toney of Belleview High School in Belleview, FL, one of the valuable assets he sees his students acquire through his CPT-foundational program has nothing to do with their hands, or any physical or electrical tools for that matter – it’s the ability to competently talk to industry insiders with the confidence one might expect from a front-line manufacturing veteran. He firmly cites CPT as being the main catalyst that leads to this heightened sense of comfortability for his students when it comes to many facets of the manufacturing industry.

While his students can talk the talk, it’s also the case that they walk the walk when it comes to these foundational manufacturing skills and knowledge, as demonstrated in this excellent video highlighting a project undertaken by Toney’s students in his Robotics Automation and Design (RAD) program. As shown in the video, his students took the initiative of designing and assembling (using a 3D printer) a series of unique attention-focusing fidgets that aid in the learning development of students in an Exceptional Student Education (ESE) class at a local elementary school. This undertaking by Toney’s students was not a pre-planned part of the class curriculum, but rather came about through an impromptu request from a colleague of his who knew that his students had the production-oriented knowledge and skills to creatively complete this endeavor.

Upon completing his RAD program, Toney sees his students pursue various career paths, many of which directly branch from the skills and knowledge covered in the CPT program. “For us, the CPT gives them such a great core knowledge of all the main aspects of manufacturing,” he says, and from there he says his students are far from being limited with their vocational choices.
Policy & Trends
Secretary Cardona Lays Out Vision for Education in America

U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona laid out his vision for continued recovery through the pandemic and his priorities for broader investments in America's education system to ensure all students can succeed and thrive. Secretary Cardona discussed key strategies the Department, schools, and colleges and universities must take to help students, educators, and school communities – from preschool through postsecondary education – continue to recover from the pandemic and address inequities that have long existed in our education system. Information on the Secretary's address and the key priority areas can be found via this link.
Senate HELP Committee Advances CTE Nominee

The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee re-considered the nomination of Dr. Amy Loyd, to serve as the next Assistant Secretary for the U.S. Department of Education’s (ED) Office of Career, Adult, and Technical Education (OCTAE). While the HELP Committee approved Loyd similarly last year, the full Senate did not formally confirm her prior to the end of the first session of the current 117th Congress. As a consequence, President Biden was required to re-nominate Loyd for this position in the new year. Following a short discussion, the committee approved Loyd’s nomination by voice vote, advancing her for consideration by the full Senate sometime in the near future. 
Skilled Trades Coming Into Fashion

Enrollment trends and other signals confirm that more Americans are seeing firsthand the labor shortages in fields such as construction, transportation and logistics, along with rising pay for those kinds of jobs and the lower debt and the shorter timetables needed to train for them. This widely published article focuses on long disparaged education for the skilled trades is slowly coming into fashion – Higher demand, better pay and new respect are drawing students to the trades, Jon Marcus, December 31, 2021, The Hechinger Report, cited by the Lumina Foundation, January 4, 2022. Read more.

The Department of Labor has launched a new grants page to help you find funding opportunities, learn how to apply and see the grants in action. Bookmark the site to follow new grant announcements.
US Education Department Announces New Grants/Guidance

The U.S. Education Department announced new grants under the American Rescue Plan and also provided new guidance on how colleges can use American Rescue Act funds to meet students’ basic needs. The grants are $198 million to support colleges and universities with the greatest unmet needs related to the COVID-19 pandemic. In awarding funds, the department will prioritize community colleges and rural institutions of higher education that serve a high percentage of low-income students and have experienced enrollment declines since the start of the pandemic. Funds will be awarded in late spring. 

Additional information can found via this link.
Resources & Events
Upcoming Conferences

ACTE: National Policy Seminar 2022
March 21-23, 2022
Arlington, VA
NAWB: Forum 2022
April 11-14, 2022
Washington Hilton Hotel, Washington, DC