Project: TAACCCT Grant

The Department of Labor began the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant program in 2009 in response to the changing labor market conditions resulting from increased trade. The funding supports community colleges and other eligible educational institutions as they expand and improve education and career training programs that allow adults to attain high-wage, high-skill, and high-demand jobs.

One such grantee is the Multi-State Advanced Manufacturing Consortium (M-SAMC), a group of 13 colleges across the country, led by Henry Ford Community College in Dearborn, Michigan. M-SAMC aims to enact long-term change in advanced manufacturing education, with a focus on a shift towards competency-based learning and industry-driven curricula.

Orbitak International was chosen from the beginning of the grant’s implementation period to provide the project- and stakeholder management for the M-SAMC, due to its previous experience and expertise in similar projects. In its initial proposal, orbitak International created an innovation team structure that grouped the participating colleges into four units, each with their own focus and goals. This allowed the consortium to simultaneously work on a variety of targets, while still facilitating collaboration between the institutions. Through workshops, mini group assignments, and other interactions, college representatives from across the country utilized the teamwork aspect that would hold one of the major keys to success in this endeavor. Surrounding the Innovation teams, Management levels were proposed and established by orbitak, ranging from the Steering Committee on a Program Steering level, down to the Implementation Management level, consisting of the individual, local College Facilitators.

As part of the ongoing project management responsibilities, orbitak international has established a project roadmap, as well as tracking mechanisms for all involved parties, seeking to guide the consortium members towards success in completing their grant deliverables. This includes a CPI – Continuous Process Improvement – process for all involved stakeholders (shown in the examples below) weekly team meeting facilitation, a reporting structure (national and local level reporting), weekly management meeting, and report generation and distribution. orbitak also provides operational support to the Project Management team, along with the local Implementation Facilitators and Innovation Teams, often acting as a liaison between management and implementation.

Additionally, orbitak international has been leading the marketing efforts surrounding strategic partnerships (College to Industry relations), and coordinating the marketing efforts of five other marketing vendors involved in the M-SAMC.

Throughout the duration of the project, the complex stakeholder management as executed by orbitak International has proven to be another KSF in this project that spans across the country, requiring national innovation with local implementation. Creating a common target and strategy, coordination and continuous support for college management, faculty, industry partners and outside consultants/involved vendors is one of the core functions that orbitak international is still serving.

In addition to management support, orbitak international supports direct implementation on a local level, as well as the development and deployment of small-scale evaluation tools for continuous improvement.

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