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MSU’s CAVS program honored by Southern Growth Policies Board

Mississippi State University’s Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems Extension recently won a 2012 Innovator Award from the Southern Growth Policies Board.


CAVS, which is based in Canton and was created about a decade ago to work with Nissan, was specifically cited for its “Enhancing On-the-Job Problem Solving” training program. The award is given to programs and initiatives “that are improving the economy and quality of life in the South,” according to SGPB.


The problem solving program was funded by a $660,000 federal stimulus grant administered by the Mississippi Department of Employment Security. The MDES and the Mississippi Development Authority shared oversight of the program.


According to a MSU press release, 60 percent of the 400 Nissan workers who completed the 15-month project have received a pay raise. The program also provided training for Nissan’s suppliers and other partners.


CAVS Extension is affiliated with the Engagement and Outreach Service at MSU’s Bagley College of Engineering, which developed and delivered the training program with CAVS Extension and Holmes Community College, whose primary service area includes central Mississippi.


An analysis conducted after the program began revealed that 5.8 percent of Mississippi’s automotive workers had higher-order skills — short of the 10.5 percent national average. To help close the gap, the program provided instruction with a three-pronged curriculum: instrumentation and diagnostics, problem-solving methodologies and teaming topics.


Researchers and faculty  with the Bagley College of Engineering trained students to use specialized data-gathering equipment and analysis software. CAVS Extension provided specialized problem-solving training and spawned projects designed to solve chronic problems from students’ companies.


Holmes Community College provided training aimed at improving students’ communication, leadership and collaboration skills.

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