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 project worked 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 data collected was then implemented as a national solution through RoboticsCareer.org and spans 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 corresponds to the career pathways and competencies established by the ARM Member Consortium and its partners.
The Project Teams gathered the first programs listed on RoboticsCareer.org. Now that the RoboticsCareer.org is publicly available, schools and programs may submit their own information for publication on the site, so long as they align with the ARM Institute’s standards. Three regional project teams collected and validated data with support from Fivestar* Development.
This project culminated in the creation of RoboticsCareer.org – the only national workforce capability that connects education seekers with training for manufacturing careers in robotics. The programs listed on RoboticsCareer.org align directly with the ARM Institute’s defined career pathways and competencies.
Duro Workforce (PI), University of Washington (PI), Wichita State University (PI), Electron, Old Dominion University, OMEP, Montana Manufacturing Extension Center, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, South Dakota School of Mines & Technology