MSI 9th Annual Workforce Symposium



Manufacturing Skills Institute (MSI)
9th Annual Workforce Solutions Symposium

August 5 & 6, 2020, Live from your Office!

That’s right – the 2020 MSI Workforce Solutions Symposium has gone virtual!  

This year’s Workforce Solutions Symposium program included participants from the national MSI academic partner network featuring workforce development and educational best practices from industry, NGOs and academic institutions from across the United States.  We discussed best practices and ideas from manufacturers, agencies, and schools and showcase ways that are designed to get each of these groups to move out of their silos and collaborate with their peers in other organizations.  Registered attendees participated in sessions on the below schedule, and you can now view the past sessions using the “View Sessions from the 2020 Symposium” button below.

Lynchburg Regional SHRM is recognized by SHRM to offer SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP professional development credits (PDCs). This program was valid for 6 PDC’s. For more information about certification or recertification, please visit


Sponsorship opportunities are still available at this event.  Contact Kimberly Noonan at 804.528.4482 or for details.


Wednesday, August 5

Kickoff Keynote Speaker – 9AM-10AM

Lessons Learned using Credentials at the Gigafactory

Dr. Emily Howarth, Professional & Applied Technology Professor at Western Nevada College, presented on how they are using credentials at the Tesla and Panasonic Gigafactory in Nevada.

Morning Session – 11AM-Noon

Midas™ – Modularized Apprenticeships and Innovative Training Delivery

Christopher Ray, Executive Director at Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Workforce Development department, shared the MIDAS™ (Modular Industry-Driven Apprenticeship Strategies) approach to apprenticeship, allowing for shorter term training to be stacked into state and federally registerable programs. View a slidedeck with his presentation here.

Afternoon Session – 1PM-2PM:

Industrial Automation & the New Skilled Trades

Tony Oran, Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Festo Didactic – North America, discussed leveraging the skills in your company’s talent pool. With the workforce chances in the current volatile economy, now is the time to focus on training. View a slidedeck with his presentation here.

Closing Session – 3PM-4PM

Ways to Manage Civil Unrest, Politics, and Protests at Work

Allyn Walker, Managing Partner of Dale Carnegie of George & Tennessee, discussed how to maintain peace and professionalism in an increasingly unstable environment, in order to keep civil unrest and protest from infiltrating the workplace. View a slidedeck with his presentation here.


Thursday, August 6
Morning Keynote Speaker – 9AM-10AM

Best Practices for Credentials for Manufacturers in Central Virginia

Wes Smith, Assistant Vice President of Workforce Development with the Community College Workforce Alliance, discussed credential best practices for Central Virginia manufacturers. View a slidedeck with his presentation here. View a virtual tour of CCWA’s new William H. Talley, III Workforce Center here.

Morning Session – 11AM-Noon

Industry 4.0 Depends on People

Brad Zorn, an Information Technology leader with over 16 years of experience in manufacturing, discussed how Kennametal structured a digital manufacturing program through a combination of IT, OT, an Operation Excellence to include an “idea in motion” application that is completely integrated with the MSFT platform. View a slidedeck with his presentation here.

Afternoon Session – 1PM-2PM

Maritime Industrial Base Ecosystems: Building Tomorrow’s Navy

Dr. Keisha Pexton, Director of Learning and Development for Newport News Shipbuilding, Brad Williamson, MIBE Executive Director and Rear Admiral, USN (Ret.), and Stephanie Simmons, Director of Supply Chain Compliance for Newport News Shipbuilding discussed how to utilize industry 4.0, apprenticeships, and IoT to build the most successful military in the world. View a slidedeck with their presentation here.

Closing Keynote Speaker – 3PM-4PM

MSI Fellow Award Presentations

Dr. Victor Gray, MSI Executive Director, announced MSI’s Partner of the Year and MSI Fellow Awards with a brief presentation from each awardee. This session also included MSI credential updates. View a slidedeck with his presentation here.



Promotional Free Gift: All attendees received the Dupont Pandemic Protection Series, including 4 free microlearning sessions, as a gift for registering for this year’s Workforce Symposium.

MSI Certificate of Attendance: All attendees who completed all 8 sessions received a MSI Certificate of Attendance.


Thank You To Our Sponsors!

Title Sponsor

CCWA, with its partners at John Tyler Community College, are pleased to announce the opening of the William H. Talley, III Center for Workforce Development at the Chester campus. The center houses several new classrooms and learning spaces, including two digital labs and a state-of-the-art flex lab for developing technical skills in a hands-on environment.  The center offers a variety of courses in the areas of manufacturing, logistics, trades, information technology, training and credential programs.  MSI is excited to have CCWA and John Tyler Community College as the Title Sponsor of this year’s Workforce Solutions Symposium. View a virtual tour of CCWA’s new William H. Talley, III Workforce Center here.

Signature Sponsors



Finally, thank you to the Lynchburg Regional SHRM Chapter for supporting the Workforce Solutions Symposium in helping us acquire SHRM accredited designation.