Throughout the country, public-private partnerships have developed to address regional workforce needs. These have come to be known as Regional Skills Alliance (RSAs), and they prepare unemployed and low-income workers for entry and higher level jobs in an industry, upgrade the skills of incumbent workers and tackle industry-based skill shortages.
The Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Growth awarded the Detroit Regional Chamber an $84,000 grant over three years to convene an RSA devoted to advanced manufacturing, which is focusing on a number of initiatives intended to foster the creation of highly skilled advanced manufacturing workforce.
The RSA in action
Earlier this year, Marathon Oil began construction on the refinery portion of the Detroit Heavy Oil Upgrade Project (DHOUP), which will add new equipment at Marathon's Detroit refinery (Michigan's only refinery) to process heavier crude oil from Canada. This project will increase the refinery's capacity from approximately 102,000 barrels per day to 115,000, adding more than 400,000 gallons per day of clean transportation fuel to the marketplace.
As part of Marathon's expansion and negotiations with the city of Detroit, it agreed to help develop a technical training curriculum that would help prepare the local work force for the positions that would be created. This curriculum would also help prepare students for process technology positions. Thus, the Regional Skills Alliance, convened by the...