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August 2019

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ARM Selects New Education and Workforce Development Projects

Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing (ARM) has selected 11 new education and workforce development projects, awarded to members of its national consortium. Pending final negotiations, ARM plans to provide more than $2.2M in funding for a total investment of approximately $7.8M across the 11 projects.

These projects were selected from the ARM Fall 2018 project call that sought work and learn initiatives for transitioning military and underrepresented populations. The call also provided two open topic areas - one for work and learn and the other for talent attraction. Many of these projects are being developed and tested regionally; once proven, they will be available for implementation by ARM's members nationwide.

With this latest selection, 43% of ARM's 193 member organizations are now actively involved with at least one funded project. When the negotiations are finalized for these 11 projects, ARM is expected to have a total of 40 projects in place since the organization's formation in January 2017.

"Project funding is one important method that ARM uses to advance manufacturing in the U.S.," said a company spokesperson. By having dedicated project calls, ARM seeks to address both the technology and workforce related issues limiting growth in the national manufacturing ecosystem. Selected projects kick-off at the regional level, with the possibility of scaling to a national scale.

"Our team is very excited about the potential of these projects to catalyze growth in U.S. manufacturing. The consistent message we hear from manufacturers is that our nation's workforce is not adequately skilled to sustain significant economic growth. We believe our selected projects, combined with previously awarded projects, help to address this issue," stated ARM CEO, Dr. Byron Clayton.

The selected projects are briefly outlined below.

  • Washington State Robotics Workforce Readiness Program; Principal Investigator: Impact Washington, WA

This project will leverage the current manufacturing and military partnerships and develop new aspects of the Center for Advanced Manufacturing Puget Sound (CAMPS) sponsored Military to Manufacturing (M2M) Career Pathways Program. New aspects of the program will align with ARM's Work and Learn educational programs for transitioning military personnel, veterans and spouses to engage individuals in online, classroom and internship training as a pathway to high value careers in manufacturing.

  • Industry 4.0 Academy; Principal Investigator: Dallas County Community College District, TX

While military personnel are on a base still serving, permission can be granted to train for up to six months for civilian skills occupations. The Industry 4.0 Academy will be a virtual training system using online training tools, which will enable training to occur at any base in the U.S. with a regular computer, internet and mouse.

  • Veterans Serving Veterans: ARM Training in Construction; Principal Investigator: Texas A&M University, TX

This project will create curriculum and program materials for robotic systems training that will result in two robotic systems certificates for veterans focused in construction, an industry ripe for automation applications. Preparing workers for this next phase will position them for future jobs embracing new technologies. The first certificate will be focused on design/manufacture. The second certification will focus on deployment, utilization and repair skills with 3Space Makers veteran workforce.

  • Automation Manufacturing-Technicians for the Future; Principal Investigator: Wichita State University (WSU), KS

WSU will lead this project focused on the creation of short-term, for-credit, modularized certificates. The resulting certificates will be stackable into an associate (AAS) degree, conferred through WSU Tech and transferrable into bachelor's degree programs through WSU. This project will blend curriculum across three degreed programs-Robotics Technology; Maintenance and Reliability; and Industrial Automation Machine Maintenance-to offer local employers options to upskill their employees.

  • Earn-and-Learn Model for the Innovation Economy, Principal Investigator: Lorain County Community College, OH

This project will improve robotic training for Ohio residents by establishing a satellite location for ARM, using Lorain County Community College's state-of-the-art lab dedicated to advanced manufacturing. Engaging industry leaders to develop a viable curriculum, these programs will attract workers from other industries into manufacturing, provide training to teachers at secondary and higher education and scale these vetted programs throughout the state, with the potential to replicate in other regions.

  • Apprentice and Career Exploration-ACE; Principal Investigator: Oberg Industries, PA

This project builds upon a PA-based, successful medium-sized manufacturer's existing workforce program to train high school students for a career in manufacturing. The curriculum increases student knowledge in science, technology, engineering and math courses by relating theory to practical application. Teachers from involved high schools will have additional training and exposure to current/future manufacturing processes. The ARM project expands upon the existing program by placing an emphasis on robotic applications in manufacturing.

  • Flexible Spec Manufacturing Competition (FSMC); Principal Investigator: Robotics Education & Competition Foundation, TX

This new national manufacturing competition will attract high school and college students into robotics manufacturing careers while providing curriculum, training and industry-recognized certification. Utilizing existing and attainable equipment, the focus of this competition will directly expose and train students in competencies needed on the production floor.

  • FunFab Pre-Apprentice Training and Certification; Principal Investigator: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, NY

The Fundamentals of Fabrication (FunFab) program pilot is currently operating in four Bronx, NY, area schools. The ARM-funded portion of this project expands on year two of the program to include eight new schools. This project also includes teacher and student teacher assistant training, teacher facilitation of the FunFab curriculum, ARM certification exams following teacher facilitation and certified candidate introduction to on-the-job-training.

  • CoBots for Kids; Principal Investigator: Worcester Polytechnic Institute, MA

This project will develop summer and afterschool programs for middle and high school students in Massachusetts. The programs will give students the opportunity to use commercial equipment to manufacture parts that they will be able to assemble into real systems. The curriculum will give the students attending the programs the skills that are valuable in the current job market, as well as skills to quickly understand new technologies.

  • The Unconventional Robot Challenge Camp Project; Principal Investigator: Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC), PA

The Unconventional Robot Challenge Camp Project, a CCAC program, will increase outreach and develop a summer camp with a competition to promote targeted robotics exposure to middle and high school students. All students who participate in the Robotics Summer Camp will receive an ELEGOO UNO Smart Robot Kit to get hands-on experience in programming, electronics assembling and robotics knowledge. The Unconventional Robot Challenge Camp will be offered for two weeks each, one session for middle school students and another session for high school students. Each of the two camps will culminate with an Unconventional Robot Challenge Competition.

  • AmSkills Apprenticeship Recruitment Initiative; Principal Investigator: AmSkills Apprenticeship Foundation, FL

This project increases educational and recruitment efforts within local schools, neighborhoods and the community through use of the Florida-based AmSkills Mobile Innovation Station and AmSkills Neighborhood Training Center, which will be used to help change public perceptions of the manufacturing industry through engaging interactive hands-on workshops, utilizing a mobile advanced manufacturing lab. This concept will bring real hands-on opportunities to residents through partnerships with local parks, library and recreation departments.

For more information contact:

Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing (ARM) Institute

10 40th St.

Pittsburgh, PA 15201


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