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BIC Manufacturing Academy

Berkshire Innovation Center (BIC) logo
General Dynamics logo
mass development logo
massachusetts technology collaborative logo

Now Recruiting for Cohort 2
of the BIC Manufacturing Academy!

The second cohort of the BIC Manufacturing Academy will begin November 7th.

Each company can nominate up to 2 employees. 

Deadline to submit nominations is Friday, October 13, 2023.

The BIC Manufacturing Academy is an industry-led training collaborative designed to address persistent challenges facing the manufacturing economy in the Berkshire region by closing the gap between local supply chain capabilities and the needs of larger manufacturers through ongoing education, training, and technology assistance.

This initiative is designed to foster growth in the regional advanced manufacturing sector, and was developed in partnership with MIT, General Dynamics, Mass Tech Collaborative, the US Department of Commerce, and with support of local and state matching funds.  The launch of the BMA is a historical marker signaling the BIC's devotion to being an in-service learning provider to its members and affiliates.

BIC Manufacturing Academy
in the Press

BBJ May 2023 BIC Article

Preparing the Next Generation of Leaders

by Ben Sosne and

Dr. Dennis Rebelo

Berkshire Business Journal

May 2023

Berkshire Business Journal November 2022

New Technology Skills Approach

by John Townes

Berkshire Business Journal

November 2022

Berkshire Business Journal September 2022

Where Collaboration
and Collective
Wisdom Meet

by Ben Armstrong and Ben Sosne

Berkshire Business Journal

September 2022

BMA  Slide_Three Phase Core Program_edit

Cohort 2 Schedule
November 7, 2023 - April 11, 2024

Program Description

The BIC Manufacturing Academy supports the growth and development of the future leaders of our firms, and helps these firms explore new technological solutions, through a comprehensive core training program as well as a curated series of technology workshops. The core training program was developed after countless hours of interviews, meetings and learning from a diverse range of industry partners. It is called Systems Thinking for the Application of Technologies, or STAT. The STAT program answers two key industry needs: developing employee troubleshooting and systems thinking and enhancing human skills. It is a cornerstone to our work. The STAT Program is a dynamic 24-week initiative that is broken into three distinct phases. Each phase is six weeks long, with remote learning breaks scheduled between them.

Cohort 1_Phase 2_Week 1 (5).png

Phase 1  

The first phase focuses on the principles of DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control) as a framing tool that illustrates and engages students in ways to enhance their troubleshooting and their problem-solving skills to more effectively approach any problem, from fixing a coffee machine to something far more complex. It is an interactive seminar with a lot of thoughtful exchange, really prompting students to think about their own lives and their work roles.

Phase 2
Cohort 1_Phase 2_Week 6 (4).png

Phase 2

In the second phase, the students apply the framing tools that they learned from the first phase. This will include both a hands-on learning component and a computer simulation. The hands-on learning will involve studying and interacting with a micro-manufacturing wind turbine plant located within the BIC which will serve as a testing ground to practice problem-based learning. Through varied problems, students will understand measurement, process mapping, and other tools that hang off the DMAIC framework. Complementing the hands-on learning will be a digital twin, a computer simulation that will allow students to tweak the types of technology that could be deployed in a production line as the process is “leaned out,” controlled, improved, and sustained.

Phase 3
Cohort 1_Phase 2_Week 4 (1).png

Phase 3

In the third and final phase of the program, students will move from this micro-manufacturing simulation and rethink where they sit within their roles, their group, and their firm and begin to formulate a way to “make their learning count” in their companies. With support from a supervisor in their firm, the students will identify a real-life problem, or opportunity, that they can troubleshoot, and problem solve. Here is where they will be paired with coaches to apply the DMAIC framework to assess actual “pain points” within their firms and propose solutions that will make their firms more productive, efficient, and competitive.

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