MSU Awarded DOL MDES – WIOA/Governor’s Reserve Grant for Enhancing Manufacturing Skills for Mississippians

A grant has been awarded by Department of Labor (DOL) - Mississippi Department of Employment Security (MDES) as part of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Program to Mississippi State University’s CAVS Extension. This grant allows us to offer exciting training opportunities at no cost to eligible recipients as part of the Enhancing Manufacturing Skills for Mississippians (EMSM) program. See the list of classes below for details. Individuals are eligible to be considered for a limited number of free spots.

Enhancing Manufacturing Skills for Mississippians program is designed to:
  • Introduce a bootcamp style learning environment entitled “Manufacturing Skills Development Bootcamp” (MSDB).
  • Provide an opportunity to gain the skills necessary for jobs within the advanced manufacturing, automotive, aerospace, shipbuilding industries, as well as other manufacturing sectors.
  • Focus on skills in leadership, critical thinking/problem solving, process improvement, project management, teamwork, collaboration, and effective communication skills.
Outline of Program Activities (Limited Offerings - no cost to participants):
  • Basic - Level 1 Certification (Workshops include Project Management & Facilitation, Financial Fundamentals, and 8D Problem Solving).
  • Technical - Level 2 Certification (Workshops include Measurement System Analysis (Gage R&R), Statistical Process Control (SPC), and Process Failure Modes & Effects Analysis (PFMEA).
  • Mastery - Level 3 Certification (Workshops include Lean Manufacturing elements: 1) Lean Basics & Kaizen, 2) Standard Work and 5S, 3) Production Pull Systems, 4) Lean Management & TPM.

If you are interested in learning more or would like to request to be registered for one of the eligible classes supported by this grant please click the "Submit Application" button in the side bar to submit a request.

Program Period:
October 2021 - December 2022
Program Leads
Principal Investigator:
Ms. Tonya McCall
Director, CAVS Extension
Co-Principal Investigator:
Ms. Judy Johnson
CAVS Extension
Program Coordinator:
Ms. Jill Sellers
CAVS Extension

** All Participants will be registered in the Mississippi Works system.

Manufacturing Bootcamp infographic
Grant Training Opportunities

Level 3 - Lean Certificate

Course Objective:

Course objective is to develop participant skills in the recognition and elimination of Waste, and to improve Flow in their operations. Participants will apply these techniques on an approved project.

Who Should Attend? Manufacturing Engineers, Quality Engineers, Industrial Engineers, Mechanical Engineers, Engineering Managers, Plant Managers

Participant Involvement: The training will consist of 4 two-day sessions (i.e., 64 hours of class time) scheduled during a four month period. Each participant is required to implement techniques and tools on an approved project that targets substantial benefits to their respective organizations. Each participant will receive consulting support both in and outside the classroom to assist with the successful completion of their project. It is anticipated that significant work outside the classroom will be expected in order to ensure maximum results from the student project.

Instructor(s): John Moore and Clay Walden, Ph.D.

Please contact Jill Sellers at or 601-407-2746 if you have any questions.

Level 2 - Measurement System Analysis: Gage Repeatability & Reproducibility

Course Objective:

This two day course will provide an introduction to the concepts of Measurement System Analysis (MSA), which is often referred to as Gage Repeatability & Reproducibility (Gage R&R). Participants will hone their individual skills during a step-by-step, instructor led interactive example using sample demonstration parts.

Course Content:
  • Introduction
    • What is MSA (Gage R&R)?
    • Why measurement Error Matters
    • Measurement System Analysis Terms
    • Gage Repeatability
    • Gage Reproducibility
    • Assessing Measurement System Capability
  • Classroom Activity
    • Overview of Gage R&R Forms
    • Exercise: Actual Inspection & Data Collection Using Sample Parts
    • Step-by-Step Calculations
    • Interpretation and Explanation of Calculated Results
    • Verification of Results Using Computer Software (Minitab, Excel, etc.)
  • In Plant Application
    • Divide the class into teams and perform the Gage R&R on actual inspection equipment
    • Each team present results to the rest of the class.

Who Should Attend? Engineers practicing in any discipline, managers, other technical professionals, and anyone responsible for collection and/or analysis of measurement data.

Participant Involvement: This workshop will provide attendees with basic instruction in the statistical analysis of measured data for the purpose of measurement system validation. Each participant should have a working knowledge of the typical measuring system(s) used in their work or professional environment and an understanding of how related data measurements are collected. The participant's basic understanding of mathematics (average, percentage, & square root, etc.) is assumed. A prior understanding of basic descriptive statistics such as mean, range, and standard deviation is desirable, but these topics will be also be defined and explained during the workshop. Participants will benefit from instructor led lecture, individual hands-on activity, and general discussion on related topics.

Instructor(s): Jonathan Howell and Adam Collins

Please contact Jill Sellers at or 601-407-2746 if you have any questions.

Level 2 - PFMEA - Control Plan [Non-Nissan Suppliers]

Course Objective:

This one day workshop will provide an introduction to "Mistake-Proofing Solutions" following a 10 step process combining Process Failure Mode and Effects Analysis, Root Cause Analysis, Poka-yoke Principles and Process Control Plans with a systematic team driven approaching process.

Class Resources:

Instructor(s): Judy Johnson, Adam Collins and Tonya McCall

Please contact Jill Sellers at or 601-407-2746 if you have any questions.

Level 2 - SPC 101 - Statistical Process Control

Course Objective:

This two day workshop is structured so that participants gain a solid understanding of the use of Statistical Process Control to drive process improvement. The class is taught through a balance lecture, class discussion, class exercises, and follow-on participant projects. Specific topics include both variables and attribute control charting. Specific variables control charting tools include X-BAR and R charts, as well as X and Moving R. Specific Attribute charting techniques are also presented including P, C, and U Charts. Also process capability indexes are presented and explained (i.e., Cp, Cpk, Pp, Ppk). Throughout the class a strong emphasis is placed on how to connect SPC with root causes oriented problem solving. Key concepts are reinforced through the use of catapults to simulate the real world linkage between SPC and process improvement.

Course Content:
  • Basics of Process Variation
  • Introduction to the Control Chart
  • Using Systematic Problem Solving to Drive Improvement
  • How a Control Chart Really Works
  • Basic Measures of Process Capability
  • SPC Class Exercise using Catapults

Who Should Attend? Manufacturing Engineers, Quality Engineers, Managers, Supervisors, and other professionals.

Instructor(s): Adam Collins and Emily Wall, Ph.D.

Date(s): December 8-9, 2022 (Canton, MS)

Time: 8:00AM - 5:00PM

Location: MSU CAVS Extension - 153 Mississippi Parkway Canton, MS 39046

Please contact Jill Sellers at or 601-407-2746 if you have any questions.

Level 1 - 8D Root Cause Problem Solving [Non-Nissan Suppliers]

Course Objective:

This one day workshop will discuss the 8D problem solving process which has become a standard in the Auto, Assembly and other industries worldwide. It is a disciplined and effective approach to solve chronic and recurring problems. 8D provides excellent guidelines to identify the root cause of the problem, implement containment actions, develop and then implement corrective and preventive actions to eliminate the problem permanently.

Class Resources:

Instructor(s): Jonathan Howell, Judy Johnson and Tonya McCall

Please contact Jill Sellers at or 601-407-2746 if you have any questions.

Level 1 - Financial Fundamentals

Course Objective:

In this course, using interactive business simulation where you will be immersed in setting and running your own business, you will develop a new ability to visualize corporate financial information as a single landscape of interacting forces. You will experience how other departments affect how you do your job, and how you do your job affects other departments.

Instructor(s): Steve Puryear

Please contact Jill Sellers at or 601-407-2746 if you have any questions.

Level 1 - Project Management and Facilitation Skills Workshop


This workshop is designed to assist individuals and organizations to understand the key processes of project management, to initiate a project and to plan for resources, project risks, communication, and change control. It provides insight into the mechanics of managing and executing a project successfully through the closeout phase. It also provides a structured, planned approach to leading and facilitating teams, providing participants with practical tools to generate ideas and determine potential solutions, evaluate effectiveness of alternatives, reach consensus, and to effectively present results to key sponsors and stakeholders.

Instructor(s): Judy Johnson and Martin Konrad

Please contact Jill Sellers at or 601-407-2746 if you have any questions.