PITTSBURGH — The Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing (ARM) Institute has announced selection and funding from its third Education and Workforce Development project call that took place in late 2019. ARM plans to provide up to $2 million 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 positions. The 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.
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