Project MFG: Forging the Next Generation of American Manufacturing

Project MFG announces the launch of the Next Generation Manufacturing Challenge to address the number one crisis facing the US manufacturing industry a critical shortage of skilled workers. American companies are expected to be short 2.4 million skilled workers over the next 10 years, unless the industry is able to attract young people to replace an aging workforce in which 2.7 million manufacturing professionals are preparing to retire.

The Challenge is a series of event-based competitive skills challenges in which teams comprised of a mentor paired with student machinists and welders will compete in 5-axis machining and welding skills. The Challenge kicked off in Auburn, Alabama, on April 26 and 27, where four teams faced off with the winning team taking home a $5,000 purse. The Meridian event takes center stage on May 10 and 11 at the Riley Workforce Development Center on the campus of the Meridian Community College Campus. The format will be the same as the Auburn event, with teams competing for the Mississippi State Championship and a $5,000 top prize.

“Mississippi State University welcomes the opportunity to participate as a coordinating partner and alongside Meridian Community College in the launch of this exciting new initiative. We look forward to working with other partners in the coming months and with Mississippi's Community Colleges to grow and sustain these events for future generations of Mississippi technical students,” said Randy Jones, director of Mississippi State University Institute for Systems Engineering Research.

 “Hosting a Challenge event is one of the ways Meridian Community College is helping to lead the future of the manufacturing industry in America. We are pleased to participate in the launch of this new initiative,” said Brian Warren, chairman of the industrial division at Meridian Community College and the coordinator and instructor of the Precision Manufacturing and Machining Technology Programs.

Project MFG: Next Generation Manufacturing Challenge is a collaboration of industry, academic, and defense partners from around the US. The Challenge will culminate in a national competition at the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) in Chicago in September 2020.

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