Earlier this month, the ARM Institute continued its annual tradition hosting a Manufacturing Day event in collaboration with our Pittsburgh facility neighbors and collaborators, Carnegie Mellon University’s Manufacturing Futures Institute and Catalyst Connection. Our 2023 event was our largest event yet – we welcomed about 150 regional high school students, teachers, and administrators into our Mill 19 facility to explore careers in manufacturing through discussion pods, an exhibit hall of training providers, technology demonstrations, and tables from local manufacturers. 30 external local partners supported this year’s event. This year also featured a new session for teachers, administrators, guidance counselors, and other influencers to learn about the many resources available to help them communicate about the value of manufacturing careers.
Students learned about a wide variety of opportunities in manufacturing – from working on autonomous vehicles like our neighbors at Motional to bio manufacturing like our newest partners BioForge (a collaboration between the University of Pittsburgh and ElevateBio). Specifically, students learned how robots are leading to new roles in manufacturing, such as those available on RoboticsCareer.org, the ARM Institute’s national workforce resource.
Explore our event below:
Each year, we highlight younger professionals working manufacturing. This year, students cycled through four discussion pods, allowing them to connect more directly with these professionals and ask questions. Our speakers were:
Kayla Rhody is a Cum Laude graduate from Pennsylvania Western University with a degree in Mechatronics Engineering. Mechatronics focuses on mechanical, electrical, and computer engineering. This degree has fully prepared her for her job as a controls engineer at Sensus in Uniontown, PA. A controls engineer specializes in developing and designing manufacturing operations as well as troubleshooting existing operations. At Sensus, Kayla works on plastic injection molding machines, a variety of custom-made collaborative robot operations, and high voltage projects. Prior to becoming a controls engineer, Kayla had an engineering internship at Aethon in Robinson, PA where she performed SOM (System On Module) board chip upgrades, robot repairs, and calibrated robots that were designed to deliver medication to hospital rooms. She then had an engineering internship at Jatco Machine and Tool Company, Inc. where she operated a coordinate-measuring machine, laser engraver, and repaired plastic injection molds.
Brandon is machinist at Aggressive Grinding Service. In high school, he attended Eastern Westmoreland Career and technology center and started machining. His senior year, he started a co-op, which was basically a work release in a machine shop. Post-graduation, he continued there and did an apprenticeship with the NTMA, graduating a year early and winning the apprentice competition. This past year he started teaching for the NTMA. He credits his vo-tech teacher and Bots IQ for sparking his interest in manufacturing.
Christine is a chemical engineer at ElevateBio, a Biotech Company. In her career, she has worked in numerous departments within Life Sciences Manufacturing. She has done everything from running equipment, to troubleshooting, and supporting process improvements. Christine currently works as a Project Engineer to help Manufacturing readiness at ElevateBio. She oversees end-to-end implementation from planning layout design, to equipment qualification, space readiness, and finally production.
While she really enjoys the excitement and learnings that come with fast-paced and hands on work, her favorite thing about the Life Sciences and Biotech field is the life-changing impact for patients around the world.
Ian is an Advanced Manufacturing Technician at Carnegie Mellon University’s Manufacturing Futures Institute- (MFI). Ian started his academic journey at the Community College of Allegheny County then used his education to pursue his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. He went on to intern for MFI before being brough on-board full-time at MFI where he runs machining operations at Mill 19.
An Exhibit Hall of Training & Education Providers
Robotics careers in manufacturing are attainable through a variety of education and training options!
Our event showcased the gambit of training opportunities in Pittsburgh, PA, including the following ARM Endorsed training programs: Community College of Allegheny County, Southwest BotsIQ, Pittsburgh Technical College, and Westmoreland County Community College. We also welcomed Catalyst Connection, TRACKS-CN’s Cyber4RAM badge, New Century Careers, Triangle Tech, Robert Morris University, the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University’s College of Engineering, Community College of Beaver, Center of Life, and Industrial Arts Workshop.
At our RoboticsCareer.org table, we walked students through searching our database of 16,000+ training programs, 1,700+ robotics job postings, and using our guided search capability to match to opportunities that align with their goals.
Technology Demonstrations and Tables with Local Manufacturers
Students also got hands-on and learned about a variety of technologies that are making manufacturing safer, more engaging, and more efficient. Students explored robotics technologies in the ARM Institute’s Robotics Manufacturing Hub, an autonomous vehicle provided by Motional, a robotics testbed and additive manufacturing demonstrations by Carnegie Mellon, robotics from zipper manufacturer YKK, and more.
Our event also connected students directly to local manufacturers including Alpine Packaging, Kurt J Lesker , JV Manufacturing, EH Scwabb, Re:Build, Matthews International, Pittsburgh Glass Center, BioForge, and others.
Resources You Can Use All Year
Manufacturing Day’s mission doesn’t end after October. Millions of manufacturing jobs are at risk of going unfilled in the coming years. These roles are critical to our national security. It’s important to help students, teachers, and parents combat misconceptions that persist about manufacturing careers and understand the value and importance of these roles.
RoboticsCareer.org supports the manufacturing workforce at each stage of their career – from finding a training program and exploring career pathways to matching to the perfect job and finding upskilling opportunities.
Check out more resources below that you can use all year to showcase the importance of manufacturing careers:
- Robotics Career Pathways in Manufacturing
- Infographic on the Skills Needed for a Robotics Technician Role
- Infographic on the Skills Need for a Robotics Specialist Role
- How to Create a Profile on RoboticsCareer.org
Statistics & More Resources
- 2.4 million manufacturing jobs may go unfilled due to the skills gap – that translates to a lot of opportunity for those with manufacturing skills.
- According to the National Association of Manufacturers, the manufacturing industry supports 17.6 million jobs in the United States.
- There are 16,700+ training programs in the U.S. that will give you the skills you need for a robotics career in manufacturing, and they’re all listed on RoboticsCareer.org
- At any given time, there are well over 1,000 robotics jobs in manufacturing listed on RoboticsCareer.org
- Take a peek into real-life manufacturing jobs with Manufacturing USA’s Modern Makers stories
- Explore our hundreds of blog posts talking about manufacturing careers
- On average, robotics jobs in manufacturing pay about 30% more than entry-level, non-robotics manufacturing jobs and require just slightly more training, although a high school diploma or GED is acceptable to many manufacturers.
More Ways to Strengthen U.S. Manufacturing – ARM Institute Membership
The ARM Institute enables collaboration between industry, government, and academia to strengthen U.S. manufacturing. We do this through our membership consortium consisting of nearly 400 member organizations, from start-ups, training providers, and manufacturers of all sizes to research universities and robotics providers. The diversity of our ecosystem has enabled us to catalyze more than 150 technology and workforce development projects, as well as create national resources that address barriers to growing U.S. manufacturing, such as RoboticsCareer.org.
Imagine what we could do with your company on-board! Explore membership in the link below or email [email protected] to get started.
ABOUT THE ARM INSTITUTE
The Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing (ARM) Institute is a Manufacturing Innovation Institute (MII) funded by the Office of the Secretary of Defense under Agreement Number W911NF-17-3-0004 and is part of the Manufacturing USA® network. The ARM Institute leverages a unique, robust, and diverse ecosystem of nearly 400 consortium members and partners across industry, academia, and government to make robotics, autonomy, and artificial intelligence more accessible to U.S. manufacturers large and small, train and empower the manufacturing workforce, strengthen our economy and global competitiveness, and elevate national security and resilience. Based in Pittsburgh, PA since 2017, with a satellite office in St. Petersburg, FL, the ARM Institute is leading the way to a future where people & robots work together to respond to our nation’s greatest challenges and to produce the world’s most desired products. For more information, visit www.arminstitute.org and follow the ARM Institute on LinkedIn and Twitter.