Curriculum Recommendations for Workforce Development Training in the Manufacturing Field

Diane Sumner, Walden University


A community college program evaluated in this study had no method to determine the effectiveness of the workforce training curriculum for unskilled workers in the manufacturing field. An effective workforce training program was needed to reduce the local unemployment rate and to assist the employers to meet employment objectives due to the lack of skilled workers. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to assess the perceptions of graduates and faculty with regard to the quality of the curriculum, and to examine the appropriateness of course syllabi. Kirkpatrick's 4-level model was the conceptual framework used to evaluate the training program. Research questions focused on participants' perceptions regarding the effectiveness of the training curriculum. The case study methodology featured personal interviews using open-ended questions with program faculty and graduates (n = 18). Data were analyzed using axial coding to identify relationships, and the data were categorized as themes emerged. Key findings were the confirmation of program and faculty quality; and the need for transitional services to include resume writing and interviewing skills. The recommendations included securing program funding, apprenticeships, and enhancing collaborative efforts between the college and the community. Positive social change occurs by increasing the number of skilled workers essential for competition in today's economy, improving job opportunities, and supporting the local manufacturing base.