Detroit-based LIFT, Others Partner on Training Programs for High-Tech Manufacturing Careers

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Three organizations will partner to expand training programs for careers in high-tech manufacturing in the region by setting industry standards for educational programs and training instructors.

“Manufacturing enterprises — especially those serving the defense and transportation sectors — continue to embrace new light weight metals and technologies, adding advanced technical requirements to critical jobs already going unfilled because workers don’t have the required skills,” says Larry Brown, executive director of Detroit-based Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow know as LIFT, a manufacturing innovation institute.

LIFT, which opened earlier this year in Corktown along Rosa Parks Blvd., south of Michigan Avenue, is joined in the training program with the National Institute for Metalworking Skills Inc., a group that sets standards for the industry and accredits training programs, and the Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana.

The initiative will focus on building training programs, setting industry standards for educating and training an industrial technology maintenance workforce, training instructors from community colleges, and equipping the workforce with skills and credentials needed to enter the field.

Brown says high-tech manufacturing jobs accounted for 60 percent of job growth from 2011 to 2014 in the state as well as in Indiana, Kentucky Ohio, and Tennessee. He says there are about 38,700 industrial technology maintenance jobs posted in the region, which involve the maintenance, troubleshooting, and improvement of complex machines and automation systems.

“While employers are facing a real-time skills gap, job vacancies, and competitive wages — which can average up to $25 an hour — mean that opportunities abound for motivated people looking to secure good jobs in a growing, technology-driven field,” says Jim Wall, executive director of the National Institute for Metalworking Skills.

Through the partnership, Ivy Tech will launch a new instructor training facility to prepare 50 instructors to deliver the training, and the National Institute for Metalworking Skills will bring to market credentials that certify individuals’ skills by fall 2016.

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