Project Highlight: Robotics Technician Training for Transitioning Military and Veterans

Lorenzo Walker working in CPTC’s automation lab

This ARM Institute funded Education & Workforce Development (EWD) project created a new training pipeline for transitioning military and veterans, resulting in 18 project participants completing this training.

Through this ARM project, Impact Washington (IW) and Center for Advanced Manufacturing Puget Sound (CAMPS), a Washington State Advanced Manufacturing membership association, established a new Robotics Technician training program for transitioning military personnel and veterans. This program leveraged the existing M2M Career Pathways Program established in 2012 with Joint Base Lewis McChord (JBLM) and Navy Region Northwest.

Participants

Impact Washington (PI), Center for Advanced Manufacturing Puget Sound (CAMPS)

Approach

This project trained transitioning military service members and veterans for career opportunities in manufacturing, specifically in the areas of advanced manufacturing and robotic technologies. Project participants attended a two-day workshop where they became familiar with manufacturing industry career tracks and terminology. Project participants also attended CAMPS events so that they build their network through CAMPS’ membership of manufacturers, supply chain partners, professional service providers, and government, education, and non-profit organizations. Since 2012, CAMPS has assisted more than 1,000 transitioning military personnel, veterans, and dependents with evaluating and pursuing manufacturing careers.

Results

The project was successful both in helping military personnel gain high-value careers in manufacturing and in helping manufacturers to fill needed positions.

IW and CAMPS partnered with Clover Park Technical College (CPTC), which has an established Fundamental Skills of Manufacturing and Engineering (FSME) Certificate Program. The ARM Institute project enabled 18 transitioning personnel and veterans to complete this FSME program. In this 11-week program, students were exposed to the core tenets of manufacturing careers, including workplace safety, Lean and ISO requirements, and methods of fabrication and assembly. Upon program completion, CAMPS helped the candidates find the best manufacturing career pathway for them.

Three key personal success stories from this project are outlined below:

S.C. “Parker” Carroll- an M2M grad and Captain in the U.S. Army Engineer Regiment, Parker was hired as CAMPS’ Applications Engineer upon exiting the active-duty military. Parker has been a lead architect of the Robotics Workforce Readiness Program and has been heavily engaged in working with Impact Washington and the MEP network’s Robotics in a Box resource library.

Lorenzo Walker was a retiring Air Force NCO when he went through the M2M and FSME program. After graduating from the FSME program he was hired as an automotive technician, and also decided to continue his education at Clover Park in their Mechatronics Bachelor’s degree program.

Chad Campbell served as a medical NCO in the Army Special Forces. After completing the FSME he was hired by a CAMPS manufacturing member where he works full time, while also continuing his education to get his bachelor’s degree in Mechatronics and teaching a CAD class at Clover Park.

Next Steps

Having successfully established this network between the military bases, the training centers, and the manufacturers, CAMPS intends to continue this program.


ABOUT THE ARM INSTITUTE

The Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing (ARM) Institute accelerates the development and adoption of robotics technologies that are the foundation of every advanced manufacturing activity today and in the future.  The Institute leverages a unique, robust, and diverse ecosystem of 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 the U.S. economy and global competitiveness, and elevate our nation’s security and resilience.  Founded in 2017 in Pittsburgh, PA by Carnegie Mellon University and operating as an independent public-private partnership funded by the Department of Defense, ARM is part of the DoD Manufacturing USA® network. Learn more at www.arminstitute.org, follow @ARM_Robotics on Twitter or ARM Institute on LinkedIn.

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