The American Apprenticeship Grant: Creating The Skills Manufacturers Need

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Macomb Community College in Warren, Michigan was awarded $175 million in federal public-private partnership grants for apprenticeship training to meet local needs. President Obama made the announcement at the college on Wednesday 9/9/2015. A large portion of the funding is focused on the advance manufacturing sector. $2.2 million will be used to run a community college consortium which will work on updating the skills of Telsa Motors and Panasonic workers and $4 million to train mechatronics and industrial maintenance technicians and CNC Operators in PA.

The Department of Labor funded The American Apprenticeship Grants and they were awarded to 46 partnerships between employers, organized labor, non-profits, local governments and educational institutions.

This is an incredible project that is set up to meet the needs of local businesses that require more skilled workers to fill the widening skills gap. Manufacturing has been advancing to a point where most of the employment opportunities available require a knowledge of STEM ( science, technology, engineering and mathematics). These are the kinds of careers young adults are looking to peruse but with the old stigma associated with the manufacturing industry, many don’t think manufacturing is a rewarding and professionally satisfying career.

Apprenticeships are an amazing way to help represent advanced manufacturing in a better light. Giving these young adults the opportunity to see an advanced manufacturing facility will help spread the idea that manufacturing is no longer the dangerous and grueling industry it once was. Manufacturing has been evolving and technology is a crucial component of this now highly advanced industry.

Grantees Include (Provided by :

$5 million to Los Rios Community College District in Sacramento, CA “to establish an apprenticeship model in Northern, Calif., where none currently exists” and improve advanced manufacturing coursework at the college. Partners include Siemens USA and TriTool.

$5 million to the UAW-Labor Employment and Training Cerritos, CA to fund a UAW apprenticeship initiative to train 500 job seekers and 975 current workers in advanced manufacturing jobs.

$3.9 million to Macomb Community College for 600 IT and manufacturing apprenticeships, including a new apprenticeship in digital sculpting for the autonomotive industry. Partners include Atlas Tool, Formtech, and Autocam Precision Components Group.

$10 million to the Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board for a cross-section of apprenticeships, manufacturing among them. Partners include General Motors and Emerson.

$4.9 to Marshall University Research Corp. in Huntington, WV, to fund the National Advanced Manufacturing Apprenticeship Program, expanding apprenticeship opportunities for women, transitioning military personnel, and disadvantaged youth.

Apprenticeships have been an incredible way to obtain new workers that are interested in pursuing a career in manufacturing. Recently apprenticeships have been on the decline. These grants will ideally jumpstart apprenticeships particularly in the advance manufacturing sector which have a high potential to attract this next generation of potential manufacturers. Hopefully this will be the beginning of a new appreciation and interest in the manufacturing industry. Without this kind of monetary support, these apprenticeships might never have happened and potential talent could have been lost. These kinds of programs are crucial to help close the skills gap and to help show to the public the new careers that available in manufacturing.


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