Apprentices: You’re Hired!
By Greg Jones, Vice President Smartforce Development at AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology (owner of the International Manufacturing Technology Show).
In November 2016, U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) took another step in its recent effort to bridge the skills gap in U.S. manufacturing by providing funds to encourage apprenticeship programs.
DOL selected the National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) as an industry intermediary to support the expansion of registered apprenticeships within manufacturing. As part of this initiative, there are significant funds available that manufacturing companies can use to establish a new registered apprenticeship program or expand an existing apprenticeship program.
NIMS will support companies by equipping them with the necessary information needed to design and implement an apprenticeship program, coordinate with community colleges in your local area to provide curriculum, and assist in expanding apprenticeships into non-traditional job functions beyond (and including) machinist apprenticeships.
NIMS has recently developed a new standard for industrial maintenance technicians and is in the process of updating the NIMS Level II & III standards for machine maintenance repair and building. These standards will be used a part of a competency-based apprenticeship program for field service technicians.