Small Engine Manufacturing in Wisconsin: Work Reorganization and Training Needs.Report as inadecuate

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Wisconsin is the country's leading manufacturer of small engines, and the network of companies and suppliers constituting the small engine industry accounts for more than 5% of the state's entire manufacturing base. For the past 15 years, the industry has been rocked by intensified international competition and rapid technological advancement. A comparative case study of work reorganization in Wisconsin's small engine industry was conducted. The study focused on the following: the effects of changing labor-management relationships and technological advances on the market focus and work organization of small engine manufacturing; low-wage versus high-skill business strategies; and diffusion of high-performance practices. In view of the study findings, it was recommended that the Wisconsin Technical College System take the following actions: (1) support curriculum development projects associated with the development of skills standards benchmarked to advanced industry practices; and (2) use extension services to extend the coverage of skills standards and wage norms from industry leaders to the rest of the sector. A three-tiered system of manufacturing certificates to document mastery of traditional basic, applied occupational, and advanced occupational skills was proposed along with a six-level model for a mature occupational training system in durable goods manufacturing was proposed. (MN)

Descriptors: Case Studies, Comparative Analysis, Educational Change, Educational Needs, Educational Policy, Educational Practices, Employment Practices, Industrial Structure, Industrial Training, Labor Needs, Machinery Industry, Models, Small Engine Mechanics, Statewide Planning, Two Year Colleges, Vocational Education

Author: Wisconsin Univ., Madison. Center on Wisconsin Strategy.


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