While Americans have continued to bash the H-1B Visa, corporations remain adamant that a skills gap in the United States solidifies the need for foreign workers. On March the 30th, GE announced a new proprietary skills curriculum to enhance their employees’ skills and bridge the gap in the digital industrial workforce. The company will begin training global supply chain employees and preparing them for new and more valuable positions with GE. The ‘Brilliant Learning‘ curriculum will attempt to train at least 150,000 GE employees with the intention of moving them to more relevant and higher paying jobs.

While the initiative is specifically designed to aid the company’s global supply chain employees, it will also be available to all employees. At the same time, the program will be available in several language and accessible to employees across all levels of manufacturing roles. The learning program will rely on a combination of workshops, online courses, seminars, and immersion boot camps to ensure employees are truly prepared for their future responsibilities. The curriculum has been custom-designed, but it can also be adapted to suit the needs of any individual site.

Many of the training protocols are hand-on and will be held in the manufacturing sites. The four week online course will give employees an overview of the four pillars of a Brilliant Factory. The program will also include a two-day hand-on workshop. GE invests more than one billion dollars in supporting the development of their employees each year. The United States Labor Department revealed that there was an average of tw0 unemployed manufacturing workers for each job opening during the years of 2015 and 2016.

Openings for manufacturing jobs in the United States are beginning to overtake the number of qualified candidates. This has begun to create a progressively widening skills gap throughout the industry. GE sincerely hopes their Brilliant Learning initiative will help to bridge the gap, while simultaneously preparing existing employees for future positions.

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