WPI and Local Business Community Partner for Graduate Certificate Program in Manufacturing Systems Management

New Corporate Education Executive Certificate Program to Train the Region's Future Business Leaders

Contact: WPI Media Relations, 508-831-5616

Worcester, Mass. - December 9, 2002 - Junior employees do not automatically become good managers and supervisors with a change in title. They need to be groomed, which is why Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) and area businesses are once again collaborating to introduce a new executive certificate program specifically designed to meet the needs of sponsoring manufacturing companies and employees they have tapped for future leadership roles. This new graduate certificate program in Manufacturing Systems Management is a partnership between WPI's Corporate Education division and local Worcester companies, with its first classes scheduled to begin next month for the spring semester.

The program's seven courses provide the vital theoretical and practical preparation to enable individuals to excel in leadership positions in today's competitive manufacturing environments. These courses may also be applied to a master of science degree program at WPI.

One of the key components to the new certificate program is the executive scheduling format that was pioneered by WPI's School of Industrial Management. "The executive format is a new and exciting way for working professionals to accelerate their professional development," says John Minasian, dean of Corporate Education at WPI. "By meeting in a weekend format about once every three weeks, we are able to deliver the certificate program with minimal impact on the working professional's quality of life. Although the program is intense, it offers the students flexibility in scheduling while providing them a set of graduate courses that can be used to obtain advanced degrees. Less than 11 months from beginning to end provides the student an accelerated chance for advancement and value added to the employer."

The program was made possible through the efforts of long-time Worcester business leader Paul Kennedy, president of Kennedy Die Castings; and it was introduced at a recent gathering of Worcester-area business leaders, representing companies such as Saint-Gobain, Morgan Construction, Wyman Gordan, Polar Beverages, F.W. Madigan and Kinefac.

"I had seen that WPI was doing executive graduate programs for companies in Nashua, New Hampshire and Syracuse, New York," notes Kennedy. "As an active member of Worcester's manufacturing community, I wanted to see these unique, high-quality programs come to our city. The solution was to gather a coalition of local business leaders and initiate a collaborative business partnership which would allow WPI to offer these excellent opportunities to local companies."

For more than 50 years, WPI's Corporate Education programs and School of Industrial Management have been resources for businesses interested in training key employees who have been targeted for management and supervisory roles-the next generation of business leaders.

Spring semester classes for the Manufacturing Systems Management program begin in January 2003, and applications for the program are now being accepted. Individuals must be nominated and supported by their employer. More information about the program and how to apply can be obtained by contacting WPI Corporate Education at 508-831-5208.

About Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Founded in 1865, WPI is a pioneer in technological higher education. WPI was the first university to understand that students learn best when they have the opportunity to apply the knowledge they gain in the classroom to the solution of important problems. Today its students, working in teams at more than 20 project centers around the globe, put their knowledge and skills to work as they complete professional-level work that can have an immediate positive impact on society.

WPI's innovative, globally focused curriculum has been recognized by leaders in industry, government and academia as the model for the technological education of tomorrow. Students emerge from this program as true technological humanists, well rounded, with the confidence, the interpersonal skills and the commitment to innovation they need to make a real difference in their professional and personal lives.

The university awarded its first advanced degree in 1898. Today, its first-rate research laboratories support master's and Ph.D. programs in more than 30 disciplines in engineering, science and the management of technology. Located in the heart of the region's biotechnology and high-technology sectors, WPI has built research programs-including the largest industry/university alliance in North America-that have won it worldwide recognition.