Day 2 of the Next Generation Manufacturing Challenge at MCC

MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK)- Saturday was day two for the Next Generation Manufacturing Challenge at MCC's Workforce Development Center.

The project sets out to address the number one crisis facing the U.S. manufacturing industry and that's a critical shortage of skilled workers.

"This is a skills competition in advanced manufacturing that requires team to come together to solve a problem that mirrors the moderate workforce," says Montez King, Executive Director of Nims.

Organizers say this is a great opportunity for young adults to show off their skills and what this program can lead to.

"We want to elevate the prestige of the manufacture profession here through this technology skills challenge. We want to show young people that this can be a pathway to a profession and a career that pays good wages," says Adele Ratcliff, Department of Defense.

The first day was the launch of the competition where contestants developed a process plan for the challenge.

"It’s much different than just having a contest where individuals are competing against one another. They have different specialties that have to coordinate together to achieve the common goal," King says.

There are four teams around the state that are competing in the 5 axis machining and welding to determine a Mississippi state champion.

"Their using three plus two processes plus synchronizing 5 axis and they are doing advance welding. They are welding aluminum and machining aluminum. They actually building a trophy that works as a tool for them to take back to their schools or companies," says King,