ARM Institute Selects New Education and Workforce Development Projects for Funding

The projects focus on the creation of a public online repository of U.S. educational resources for robotics careers in advanced manufacturing 

July 8, 2020 – The ARM (Advanced Robotics for ManufacturingInstitute is pleased to announce selection and funding from its third Education and Workforce Development (EWD) project call that took place in late 2019. ARM plans to provide up to $2M for the initial launch of a public website focused on robotics careers in advanced manufacturing. The funding for this project call was provided by the U.S. Department of Defense.  

The project’s goal is to assemble and validate a national database and map of educational programs and resources that provide the skills required for today’s advanced manufacturing careers, with a focus on robotics. The database will be hosted on a public website and will span the full spectrum of programs, from micro-credentials through PhDs, that help to prepare U.S. citizens for careers in advanced manufacturing in both the commercial and defense sectors. These vetted educational programs will correspond to the career pathways and competencies established by the ARM Member Consortium and its partners.   

The U.S. manufacturing sector faces a significant problem that has been compounded by trade challenges and the pandemic: a quickly growing skills gap. A 2018 report by The Manufacturing Institute and Deloitte found that 4.6 million jobs will need to be filled in the sector over the next decade, and 2.4 million of these jobs may go unfilled due to a lack of trained workers. Increasing the use of robotics will play a critical role in returning the U.S. to a global leadership position in manufacturing, but workers need to be trained to work alongside robots. This can only occur through a concerted effort to develop the needed workforce by identifying and standardizing the required competencies and skills, promoting and enhancing the educational resources, and sharing the available jobs in a comprehensive, yet easily accessible manner.  

This public website will address these challenges by making it easy to learn about educational programs that provide the needed competencies and skills for manufacturing careers, and, in future versions of the website, help employers find the best candidates for their available manufacturing positionsThe website will also support the manufacturer’s need to retrain or upskill their existing workers, which increases that worker’s value to the organization and their own personal career path.  

The educational program content will represent all delivery methods – online, in-person, workshop, and hybrid. Website visitors will be able to search based upon method of delivery, as well as physical location, specific skills, and other criteria. 

Online resources will include the following types of programs and facilities:  

  • Advanced Manufacturing Training Facilities (to include CTEs)  
  • Apprenticeship Programs  
  • Economic Development Programs  
  • Industry Endorsed Best Practice Programs 
  • Advanced Manufacturing Certification Programs  
  • Organizations and Agencies dedicated to Manufacturing Recruitment and Training  
  • Advanced Manufacturing Programs 
  • Robotics Programs  
  • For-Profit Training  
  • Colleges and Universities  

Three ARM member organizations were selected to collect and validate the national educational resources. They are:  

  1. Duro Workforce, Bronx, NY 
  1. University of WashingtonSeattle, WA 
  1. Wichita State UniversityWichita, KS  

ARM member and software development organization fivestar* was selected to build and maintain the public websiteFivestar* will also aid in the data collection and validation.  

One of the biggest challenges that both U.S. commercial and defense manufacturers face is finding skilled workers who can be successful in an advanced manufacturing, Industry 4.0 environment. Additionally, the lack of standards in advanced manufacturing career pathways make it challenging for job seekers to determine which educational programs make them the most attractive to employers,” said Lisa Masciantonio, Chief Workforce Officer at ARM. “Our solution, which was crafted with significant input from our consortium members and national workforce experts, plans to solve these challenges and ultimately help the U.S. manufacturing economy thrive.”  

ABOUT ARM PROJECTS 

Upon its inception in 2017, ARM received $80M from the United States Department of Defense to fund programs that develop, demonstrate, and accelerate the early adoption of novel robotic technology and workforce development solutions to:  

  • Assert U.S. leadership in advanced robotics for manufacturing  
  • Empower American workers to be cost-competitive with low-wage workers abroad  
  • Lower the technical, operational, and economic barriers to adopt robotics technologies  
  • Aid in the creation of new jobs to secure U.S. national prosperity.   

ARM projects require that at least one industry organization participates on each project to ensure that the outputs are relevant, applicable, and impactful. The projects are selected by a team of ARM members and partners spanning government, industry, and academia. Only ARM members can participate in projects. Visit www.arminstitute.org to learn about membership. 

ABOUT ARM

The Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing (ARM) Institute catalyzes robotics and workforce solutions to strengthen the US industrial base. Structured as a public-private partnership, ARM is funded by the Department of Defense and works with its 240+ member organizations that span government, industry, and academia to secure our nation’s future. The ARM Institute is part of the Manufacturing USA® network. Learn more at www.arminstitute.org.

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