Scholarship Program and Continued Educational Alliance Aimed at Addressing Significant Skills Gaps in Manufacturing Industry

WASHINGTON D.C. ,  Jan. 18, 2012— Continuing to develop the next generation of highly- educated and competitive manufacturing workers, The Manufacturing Institute, in conjunction with University of Phoenix, today announced that it will offer 20 full tuition scholarships for an undergraduate or graduate degree at University of Phoenix.  The scholarships are part of a continued educational alliance between The Manufacturing Institute and University of Phoenix to help address the educational and skills gaps impacting the manufacturing sector.

According to a recent survey from Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute, nearly 70 percent of American manufacturing companies have a moderate to severe shortage of available, qualified workers. In addition, the survey found that manufacturing companies cannot fill as many as 600,000 skilled positionseven as unemployment numbers hover at historic levels.

"Partnering with educational institutions like University of Phoenix is critical in addressing the manufacturing skills gap," said Emily DeRocco, president, The Manufacturing Institute. "Through scholarships, manufacturing relevant degree programs and additional educational pathways, we can align education and training to help meet the needs of employers and job-seekers."

The Manufacturing Institute and University of Phoenix have collaborated to create a unique program concentration that is aligned with the competencies defined by the industry as essential for successful manufacturing careers. The Bachelor of Science in Management with a concentration in Manufacturing provides students with education  that is vital to growth and innovation.  The University also offers a multitude of degree programs in business, information technology, human resources as well as sales and marketing that teach the core competencies in demand with leading manufacturers.

"The research and data are clear: our nation's manufacturers need a more qualified and skilled workforce," said Dr. Bill Pepicello, president, University of Phoenix. "University of Phoenix is committed to being part of the solution and we look forward to continuing our work with The Manufacturing Institute to develop new and innovative programs to educate our next generation of manufacturing workers."

The 20 full-tuition scholarships are available for qualified individuals currently employed by a manufacturer, a transitioning employee (within the past year) looking to reenter the manufacturing workforce or an individual considering a career in manufacturing. Community college students graduating with a manufacturing-related associate degree prior to June 13, 2012, or students completing an industry-recognized credential or certification program prior to June 13, 2012, are also eligible. The scholarship covers full tuition and fees for an undergraduate or graduate degree at any of University of Phoenix's more than 100 locations or online.

This is the second year that The Manufacturing Institute and University of Phoenix have partnered to offer these scholarships. One of last year's scholarship recipients, Ken Konecki of Sacramento, Calif., is currently pursuing his Master's in Business Administration (MBA) at University of Phoenix.

"Having an MBA in today's economy will help increase my competitive edge and put me on the path toward management," said Konecki.  "Manufacturing jobs will continue to play an important role in our economy's future, and I am thankful for this scholarship that will help expand my knowledge and growth within this sector."

For more information including scholarship criteria, requirements and deadlines visit:

The Manufacturing Institute

The Manufacturing Institute (the Institute) is the 501 (c) 3 affiliate of the National Association of Manufacturers.  As a non-partisan organization, the Institute is committed to delivering leading-edge information and services to the nation's manufacturers.  The Institute focuses on developing human capital strategies through education reform and workforce development, conducting applied research to provide critical information to public policy makers on challenges and opportunities for today's industry, and advancing the innovation capacity of manufacturers operating in a global market. Visit


University of Phoenix is constantly innovating to help students balance education and life in a rapidly changing world. Flexible schedules, challenging courses and interactive learning help   students pursue personal and career aspirations without putting their lives on hold. University of Phoenix serves a diverse student population, offering associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degree programs from campuses and learning centers across the U.S. as well as online throughout the world. For more information, visit