2/20/2018 | 3 MINUTE READ

Additive Manufacturing Apprenticeship Program to Be Unveiled

America Makes and the Robert C. Byrd Institute plan to unveil an additive manufacturing registered apprenticeship framework at a March 6 forum. 


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America Makes announces its collaboration with the Robert C. Byrd Institute (RCBI) to host a free, one-day public forum on Tuesday, March 6, 2018, on the Apprenticeship Works Program to promote the expansion of advanced manufacturing apprenticeships and unveil an industry-vetted additive manufacturing (AM)/3D printing technician registered apprenticeship framework. The new framework leverages learnings directly from the America Makes Workforce and Education Roadmap and empowers employers nationwide to develop and customize AM/3DP apprenticeships to create a highly skilled workforce.

This Apprenticeship Works event will be held on the campus of America Makes member Youngstown State University. While the forum is free, registration is required.

RCBI, a founding member of America Makes, leads Apprenticeship Works—the National Advanced Manufacturing Apprenticeship Program, which is an American Apprenticeship Initiative supported by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). Through Apprenticeship Works, RCBI works with partners across the United States to expand apprenticeship opportunities in advanced manufacturing, making them more accessible and affordable for employers.

“Today across the United States, there is a great need for highly skilled workers in advanced manufacturing positions, particularly for those new occupations within the additive manufacturing industry,” says Vicki Thompson, MAEd, America Makes Workforce & Education Lead. “The goal of the Apprenticeship Works Program by RCBI is to expand the nationwide availability of apprenticeships overall with a specific goal of increasing advanced manufacturing apprenticeship opportunities. For more than five years, America Makes, as the national accelerator for additive manufacturing, has worked to accelerate the adoption of additive technologies and to develop a skilled workforce to serve this growing and innovative industry to enhance our nation’s global competitiveness.”

“With the creation of the AM Technician Registered Apprenticeship framework, together RCBI and America Makes, working in conjunction with the America Makes membership community, have developed an invaluable, industry-vetted framework to help U.S. employers offer customizable curriculum and training programs to establish registered apprenticeship opportunities within their organizations,” continues Ms. Thompson. “We are proud of the AM Technician Registered Apprenticeship framework and our collaboration with RCBI, as it also served as a great opportunity to build on an already positive, long-standing relationship.”

Occupational frameworks provide an outline of what an apprentice will learn on the job, as well as through related training. The new AM framework was developed out of the work led by the America Makes Workforce and Education task force, which also includes Tooling U-SME, another Apprenticeship Works partner, as well as many manufacturers that assisted in the development of the framework.

For employers, the return on investment of apprenticeships is substantial. Apprenticeship programs help employers upskill incumbent workers and allow employers to hire unskilled workers and lead them on a journey to become highly skilled workers. As a result, these organizations improve productivity and profitability, retain highly skilled workers, reduce turnover, and attract better applicants.

“We are excited about the creation and release of the AM Technician Registered Apprenticeship framework as part of our Apprenticeship Works Program,” says Lucinda Curry, Director of Apprenticeship Works, RCBI. “America Makes, along with its membership community, was crucial to the successful creation of the new framework, which is the first and only AM registered apprenticeship framework to be vetted by the industry.”

In addition to the release of the new framework the Apprenticeship Works forum will also feature Eric M. Seleznow, senior advisor, Jobs for the Future, presenting on “How Apprenticeship Programs Work for Employers.” Representatives from Mohawk Flooring, Weyerhaeuser, Butech Bliss, Reddog Industries, and Martin Engineering, will share their insights about and experience with apprenticeships. A tour of the America Makes Innovation Factory is also being offered to attendees upon the conclusion the forum.


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