The Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing (ARM) is actively trying to bring into the industry workers from transitioning military and underrepresented populations. In May 2018 the group requested proposals for projects that address these groups as well as other programs that would attract talent to manufacturing.
On May 1 ARM -- whose members include 3M, Lockheed Martin, Airbus, BMW and Yaskawa-- announced the selection of 11 new education and workforce development projects, awarded to members of its national consortium. The group will provide an investment of $7.8 million across the 11 projects.
“Our team is very excited about the potential of these projects to catalyze growth in U.S. manufacturing,” said ARM CEO, Dr. Byron Clayton in a statement. “ The consistent message we hear from manufacturers is that our nation’s workforce isn’t adequately skilled to sustain significant economic growth. We believe our selected projects, combined with previously awarded projects, help to address this issue.”
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 projects, ARM is expected to have a total of 40 projects in place since the organization’s formation in January 2017.
The selected projects are briefly outlined below:
Washington State Robotics Workforce Readiness Program
Principal Investigator: Impact Washington, Wash.
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, Texas
While military personnel are on a base still serving, permission can be granted to train for up to 6 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, Texas
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), Kan.
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 with options to upskill their employees.
Earn-and-Learn Model for the Innovation Economy
Principal Investigator: Lorain County Community College, Ohio
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 & Career Exploration – ACE
Principal Investigator: Oberg Industries, Penn.
This project builds upon a Penn.-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, Texas
Many prestigious robotics competitions are already in existence, but few focus on robotic applications in manufacturing. 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, N.Y.
The proven and effective 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, Mass.
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), Penn.
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 that 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, Fa.
This project increases educational and recruitment efforts within local schools, neighborhoods and the community through the 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.