America Makes, Youngstown, Ohio, USA, and the Robert C Byrd Institute (RCBI), Huntington, West Virginia, USA, have in partnership with Tooling U-SME, the National Coalition of Advanced Technology Centers, and AST2, received approval from the US Department of Labor’s Office of Apprenticeship (OA) for their first industry-vetted Additive Manufacturing Technician Registered Apprenticeship.
Rob Gorham, Executive Director of America Makes, stated, “The approval of the AM Technician Registered Apprenticeship by the DOL OA is the accumulation of a great deal of work and learnings, many of which were leveraged directly from the America Makes Workforce and Education Roadmap. We are proud to have played an important role in this initiative to empower employers nationwide to develop and customise AM apprenticeships to create a much needed, highly skilled additive workforce.”
The development of the framework for the AM Technician Registered Apprenticeship was a key America Makes initiative through Apprenticeship Works — the National Advanced Manufacturing Apprenticeship Program, a collaborative project between RCBI, America Makes, the National Coalition of Advanced Technology Centers, Tooling U-SME and AST2, and supported by the DOL.
RCBI, a founding member of America Makes, leads Apprenticeship Works. Through Apprenticeship Works, RCBI works with partners across the United States to expand apprenticeship opportunities in advanced manufacturing, making them more accessible and affordable for employers.
In order for the AM Technician Registered Apprenticeship framework to receive approval from the DOL OA, it had to follow guidelines in accordance with Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), (Title 29 CFR, part 29.4 Criteria for Apprenticeable Occupations). Upon the OA soliciting input from the industry regarding the apprenticeability of the AM Technician occupation and reviewing against Title 29 CFR, part 29.4, the OA formally recognised the occupation as apprenticeable.
“The formal recognition by the DOL OA of the AM Technician Registered Apprenticeship is a big step forward for the AM industry at large,” added Josh Cramer, America Makes Workforce and Education Director. “The AM innovations are out there. What’s needed most is a skilled workforce to support the innovative work. With the AM Technician Apprenticeship framework now available, employers can combine on-the-job learning with related instruction in specific additive processes and technologies to produce qualified, highly-productive employees.”