More industry trade groups are teaming up with workforce development organizations to collaboratively try and solve the shortage of skilled manufacturing employees. The latest initiative involves the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI; Knoxville, TN) and Tooling U-SME (Cleveland), a provider of manufacturing training solutions.
The goal of the new partnership is to expand the availability of advanced training for the composites manufacturing workforce. The organizations, along with IACMI’s members, will work together to leverage the progress of composites technology while gaining an understanding of the needs of this sector and subsequently developing programs that will best serve the workforce.
“We recognize that the opportunities and growth potential in composites manufacturing is great, which is why we strategically align our efforts with leading organizations to accelerate the development and adoption of this cutting-edge technology,” said Bryan G. Dods, CEO, IACMI. “By combining our knowledge of composites technology with the learning and development expertise of Tooling U-SME, we’ll be able to provide unparalleled advanced training programs to ensure the vitality of the U.S. workforce.”
The IACMI is the fifth technology hub in the Manufacturing USA network and includes more than 150 members, including educational institutions and small to medium-sized manufacturing companies, some of which are Tooling U-SME clients focused on composites.
IACMI noted in the release that the composite materials market in the United States grew by 3.7% last year, reaching $8 billion in value, and is expected to grow to $10.6 billion by 2022. Increased demand for lightweight and fuel-efficient vehicles, new construction, upgrades of old infrastructures and rising demand for wind energy are key growth drivers.
To kick off the partnership, Tooling U-SME will begin deploying its existing customized learning and development programs to IACMI’s full membership base. “The changes taking place in manufacturing require more partnering, such as the one between Tooling U-SME and IACMI, to accelerate the learning of both organizations and ultimately better serve the industry and its members,” stated the release.
“Our organizations bring great strengths to the table, and we’re committed to working together to increase technological breakthroughs and build a healthy workforce,” said Jeannine Kunz, Vice President of Tooling, U-SME. “There’s a lot to learn in the composites market, and we chose to partner with the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation because of its leadership in this growing sector.”