The Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing (ARM) Institute, through a partnership with its fellow Manufacturing USA® Institutes and led by Nextflex®, has been awarded funding from the Office of Naval Research for new manufacturing workforce education activities. The ARM Institute has partnered with Pittsburgh-based members, New Century Careers and BOTs IQ to catalyze activities related to robotics education. The impact of robotics on the workforce has been a source of controversy, but with the right training and preparation, robotics can offer new, safer, and more engaging careers for our nation’s workforce while making the national manufacturing sector more competitive.
NextFlex®, America’s Flexible Hybrid Electronics (FHE) Manufacturing Institute, announced the expansion of its manufacturing workforce education activities with $5 million in funding from the Office of Naval Research (ONR). Through the Manufacturing Engineering Education Program (MEEP), the $5 million will support the development of eight new education programs modeled on NextFlex’s award-winning, FHE-focused FlexFactor® program. Each new program will focus on a different technology area, such as advanced robotics, biopharmaceuticals, and tissue biofabrication. Most programs will target K-12 students, with one program focused on 4-year university students.
“This collaboration epitomizes the strength of the Manufacturing USA® Institutes,” notes Lisa Masciantonio, Chief Workforce Officer at the ARM Institute. “Each institute focuses on a different technical aspect of Industry 4.0. By leveraging the expertise of each institute, we are taking a proactive and comprehensive approach to preparing the workforce for the coming technology advancements occurring in the to the manufacturing industry.”