Arconic Foundation, the independently endowed philanthropic arm of Arconic Inc., New York City, New York, USA, reports that it has awarded six US$100,000 grants as part of its Advanced Manufacturing Education Grant Program. The program was launched to fund education programs focusing on emerging transformative technologies for the manufacturing industry, including Additive Manufacturing. In the next two years, academic and training institutions in the United States, Germany, Hungary, and the United Kingdom aim to educate 375 students through these grant programs.
According to Arconic, the Advanced Manufacturing Education Grant Program addresses the rapid shift taking place in manufacturing – in cutting-edge technologies like automation, robotics, Additive Manufacturing and the digitisation of information – to help solve the skills shortage faced by manufacturers globally. In the United States alone, over 365,000 manufacturing jobs are currently open, according to the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), and over two million of the 3.5 million job openings over the next decade will go unfilled due to the skills gap. The need is particularly acute for skilled and highly skilled positions, which can be exacerbated by the pace of technological change, states the Association.
“A healthy manufacturing sector is a top priority,” explains Todd Boppell, NAM’s Chief Operating Officer. “Manufacturing is the backbone of the U.S. economy, and it’s public-private collaborations like this Arconic Foundation grant program that help equip today’s students to forge successful manufacturing careers.”
Pellissippi State Community College was among the grant recipients, receiving $100,000 to expand its Engineering Technology programs. The funding will be used to add advanced industry-grade robotics equipment to its classrooms, dedicate additional space for these high-demand programs, and strengthen the early talent pipeline connection between the College and local high schools.
“Investing in education is crucial to the health of economies around the world; it improves our communities, empowers individuals economically and enhances the competitiveness of businesses and industry,” added Esra Ozer, President, Arconic Foundation. “Through partnerships with academic institutions like Pellissippi State Community College in Knoxville, Tennessee, we help ensure that the next generation is prepared and excited for careers in advanced manufacturing.”
“Our school is working closely with the growing local manufacturing community to prepare our students with the skills they need to succeed in this rapidly-evolving workplace,” commented Dr Anthony Wise Jr, President of Pellissippi State Community College. “The Arconic Foundation grant will transform the delivery of our Engineering Technology programs and bolster the experience of countless students.”
The six grant recipients are:
- Ivy Tech Community College, Lafayette, Indiana, United States: grant funding will integrate hands-on Additive Manufacturing coursework into existing programs and support the addition of a dedicated AM course and related equipment.
- Muskegon Community College, Muskegon, Michigan, United States: grant funding will be dedicated to the creation of a dedicated mechatronics course, supporting equipment, and the incorporation of concepts into existing Manufacturing Engineering programs.
- Pellissippi State Community College, Knoxville, Tennessee, United States: grant funding will be used to purchased advanced industry-grade robotics and expand the Engineering Technology programs.
- University of Sheffield, Sheffield, United Kingdom: grant funding will be used to refresh final year projects for Aerospace Engineering and Material Science students. The projects will include learning experiences through partnerships with local employers and will be supported by updated equipment and modeling software.
- Cologne Institute for Economic Research in cooperation with the students’ network D.E.M.I.N.G. at the University of Applied Science Fresenius Dusseldorf, Germany: grant funding will provide an in-depth experiential learning experience for students on Manufacturing 4.0 / the digitisation of manufacturing.
- Obuda University, Szekesfehervar, Hungary: grant funding will update manufacturing automation labs to create a comprehensive Smart manufacturing industrial process.