Partnerships between the Institute and educational institutions demonstrate that industry-specific degree programs can successfully link worker and workforce educational demand with the skills and management training desired and needed by employers.

While the work of the Institute is still in its infancy, it is a step in the right direction for the manufacturing sector. Partnerships like this between educators and employers are a model for how we can work together to develop and deliver curriculum that will appropriately prepare the next generation of workers and ensure our workforce keeps pace with emerging technologies. This will not only be essential to America’s continued competitiveness in manufacturing, but will also deliver the next generation of highly skilled and prepared managers that are ready to lead.

Brian Lindquist, Ph.D., is Dean of the College of Graduate Business & Management at the University of Phoenix.