As 2016 comes to an end, companies within the U.S. manufacturing sector remain optimistic about new opportunities for growth and innovation in the upcoming year, even as competition from overseas continues to increase. Perhaps the most pressing issue facing the industry in 2017, and beyond, is educating and training the next generation of manufacturers.
To combat this concern, the U.S. has numerous educational platforms, certifications and training programs on the horizon to help change Millennials’ perceptions about manufacturing. Today, many of the Manufacturing USA institutes are announcing new training and workforce preparedness initiatives including:
· Advanced Curriculum in Additive Design, Engineering and Manufacturing Innovation (ACADEMI): The ACADEMI, launching in the spring of 2017, is an immersive, hands-on training environment, integrating skills from a variety of disciplines into a Design for Additive Manufacturing Bootcamp. (Available for America Makes’ members at its Innovation Factory in Youngstown, OH.)
· DMDII and NIST: (, along with, will expand their Train the Trainer program. The program is reported to increase by 50 percent to include an additional five centers, in efforts to educate manufacturing practitioners on digital manufacturing and enable MEP Centers to assist small to mid-sized manufacturers in adopting the next generation of technology.
· Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI): The IACMI plans to launch a series of four hands-on training workshops in an effort to accelerate the adoption of innovative, energy efficient technologies within the composites ecosystem. The IACMI also will join Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow (LIFT) in an effort to develop a lightweighting “learning hub” and information portal by the end of this year. This initiative will provide content and courses, lab activities and curricula to help educators at all levels infuse information on lightweight materials, technologies and processes into educational pathways to jobs in the industry.
(MIT): Along with others, MIT is committed to educating and training the next generation of manufacturers by offering new courses promoting a culture of makers and the value of hands-on experiences.
About the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center
Since 1991, the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center has assisted Michigan’s small and medium-sized businesses to successfully compete and grow. Through personalized services designed to meet the needs of clients, we develop more effective business leaders, drive product and process innovation, promote company-wide operational excellence and foster creative strategies for business growth and greater profitability. Find us at www.the-center.org.