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Agreement is opportunity for NSU to get manufacturing training for students and staff
Aug 07, 2014 | 339 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
NATCHITOCHES – Northwestern State University signed a memorandum of understanding with Reliability Solutions in which the university will provide a facility for RS to conduct training in exchange for the opportunity for students and faculty to audit the training.

RS is a Florida-based company focused on delivering hands-on skills training tailored to the needs of manufacturing companies and will begin its first training session at NSU with employees of Weyerhaeuser on Aug. 11. The training will utilize classrooms and amenities of NSU’s Department of Engineering Technology.

“Eventually we will look at incorporating some of Reliability Solutions’ offerings within NSU’s curricula. The fact that industry will be floating through our facility at Northwestern State will give us the opportunity to engage with them and recruit more non-traditional students to the university,” said Dr. Ali Ahmad, head of NSU’s Department of Engineering Technology.

The initiative aligns with NSU’s efforts to match a trained workforce with high-paying jobs available in high tech manufacturing. The agreement was developed with support from the Central Louisiana Economic Development Association and the Central Louisiana and Northwest Louisiana Manufacturing Managers Councils. The agreement matches real world industry needs with people willing to train for the jobs that are available and creates awareness among students about lucrative in-state career opportunities.

According to Robert Edwards, maintenance/engineering manager at Weyerhaeuser-Dodson, bringing RS to NSU is a unique partnership in which the university forms a natural hub for different organization to participate in RS course offerings.

“We are going to go through an industrial revolution again and it’s time we got back in the game,” Edwards said.

“We’re very glad manufacturing is coming home to America and coming to Louisiana,” said NSU President Dr. Randall J. Webb. “We produce graduates that excel in the workplace. They are work-ready and tend to have strong work ethics.”

Ian McKinnnon, chief development officer for Reliability Solutions, said the advantages for his company and industry to be attached to an engineering technology program such as NSU’s is beneficial for all and lauded the initiative to align industry with education.

“We are about hard-skilled transferrable knowledge. We want to bring that knowledge, experience and expertise to a vast marketplace,” he said.

For more information on NSU’s Department of Engineering Technology, visit For more information on Reliability Solutions, visit
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