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Honda Investing $1 Million in Manufacturing Workforce of the Future

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Honda's ScotMcLemore address the crowd at a Workforce Development Event

Honda’s ScotMcLemore address the crowd at a Workforce Development Event

Honda has just announced a $1 million Ohio-based “workforce development initiative” meant to generate interest in careers in manufacturing and educate and train the next generation of manufacturing employees.

Named “EPIC,” the new program is meant to close the skills gap in US manufacturing by providing programs to middle school, high school, and community college students, as well as current manufacturing associates at Honda.

According to Honda, the “EPIC” name is an acronym for what the initiative hopefully accomplishes:

  • creating Enthusiasm about manufacturing among middle school students;
  • encouraging Passion among high school students to harness the power of technology;
  • promoting Innovative instruction at two-year colleges; and
  • continuing Commitment to further educational opportunities for Honda associates.

Honda cites a recent study which found that, over the next decades, America will have a need for over 3.4 million manufacturing jobs, 60% of which will go unfilled because prospective employees lack the interest or skills required.

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“This initiative is geared toward creating interest in manufacturing as a career at the middle school, high school and college levels and then providing continued opportunities in the workplace,” said Rick Schostek, executive vice president of Honda North America. “We realize manufacturing has always been key to America’s economic strength and we want to implement programs that create opportunities not only for ourselves, but for every company with an interest in U.S. manufacturing.

Honda has even gone so far as to create a first-of-its-kind manufacturing video game. Working with Edheads, an educational game developer based in Hilliard, Ohio, Honda has created a game for classroom use that puts the player right on a Honda engine manufacturing line. The gameplay isn’t particularly thrilling, but you can try it out here.

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“The investment we are making in this EPIC initiative is the culmination of many creative partnerships we have forged with educators, businesses and Honda associates to help design this program,” said Schostek. “This robust and innovative initiative is designed to be used by Honda and supplier operations in other regions of the country.”