While it’s common for community organizations to team up with educational institutions to offer training in manufacturing given the talent shortage, it's rare for a church to do so.
However the Fellowship of Faith Church of Huntsville, Ala is going just that. It is bringing in an instructor from Drake State Community and Technical College to teach a 60-hour course that will earn students certifications related to the industry, as reported by WAAY-TV.
"There are thousands of jobs right now available in north Alabama, but they can't be fulfilled because they don't have the qualified workforce," class organizer Vernon McCants told WAAY-TV. Drake State offers degrees in Applied Services Technologies that prepare students for careers in automotive systems, welding and machine tooling.
Alabama has been doing a number of things lately to increase its manufacturing workforce. On Oct. 25 it announced that Auburn University’s National Center for Additive Manufacturing Excellence, or NCAME, has formed partnerships with Huntsville City Schools and the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development, and Engineering Command, to further education and workforce development in the field of additive manufacturing from high school through graduate-level training.
"Huntsville City Schools is excited to become the first K-12 school district in the nation to join Auburn University’s NCAME as an education partner,” said Christie Finley, superintendent of Huntsville City Schools, in a statement announcing the partnership. “We look forward to the opportunity for our students to work on real-world projects with industry partners and participate in collaborative research activities.”
Auburn was also selected by ASTM in March of this year as one of the founding partners for a new Additive Manufacturing Center of Excellence. In conjunction with NASA, the Auburn center was created to advance fundamental and applied additive manufacturing research through public and private partnerships.
“This partnership is a major educational milestone for NCAME in its effort to prepare the next generation of scientists and engineers in this field,” said Nima Shamsaei, director of Auburn’s National Center for Additive Manufacturing Excellence, in a statement announcing the partnership. “To become proficient in additive manufacturing we not only need to learn the processes but also to think and design differently—additively rather than subtractively. We want students from a very early stage, as early as high school or even middle school, to think differently and learn to design for additive.”