YMSA high school students look over a robot
ManufactureNJ, The New Jersey Advanced Manufacturing (M-NJ) Talent Network, is hosting its first-ever Young Manufacturers Summer Academy (YMSA) at NJIT Aug.10-15, to help combat the current skills gap in the manufacturing industry.During the weeklong Academy, local students ranging from middle to high school will have the opportunity to learn about manufacturing, its revitalization in the U.S., and the current skills gap in the industry. Students will experience hands-on activities involving advanced fabrication and machine shop high-tech equipment and participate in workshops that provide instruction on high-tech tools and computer simulations. Students will also be given the chance to visit local companies and schools including Sandvik Coromant, Stryker Corporation, FESTO Didactic Corporation, Weiss-Aug Co, Inc., Raritan Valley Community College, and Pascack Hills High School to learn more about the variety of educational pathways open to them in their pursuit of a career in manufacturing.
For example, NJIT offers a four-year Bachelor of Science Degree in Engineering Technology with a concentration in mechatronics – a new name for the discipline, which describes the changing world of advanced manufacturing including 3-D printing, robotics, sensors and automation. This program accepts students who first earn an associate degree in the field, which is currently offered by Thomas Edison State College and a number of N.J. community colleges.
There is an unprecedented shortage of skilled production workers and engineers who are able to successfully work in the mechatronics field and this gap is expected to increase. The YMSA is one example of an M-NJ program that is designed to reverse this trend by appealing to the natural curiosity and interest levels of young men and women in order to create excitement and to motivate them to consider manufacturing as they think about their futures.
YMSA is part of the “Dream It. Do It.” (DIDI) network, which conducts nearly 40 programs in more than 35 states. DIDI was created by the Manufacturing Institute in Washington D.C., and is dedicated to changing the perception of the manufacturing industry among young professionals, teachers and parents to inspire students to view manufacturing as a future career choice.
The NJIT-led Advanced Manufacturing Talent Network, ManufactureNJ (M-NJ), is an industry demand side driven approach responding to current and future employment and education needs within this rapidly changing industry. With continued support from the NJ Department of Labor and Workforce Development, the network has become an important change agent empowering an ever-growing number of NJ companies and NJ educators to effectively integrate advanced manufacturing technologies into daily operations and curricula respectively. It also acts to facilitate this effort across a large number of NJ companies not normally thought of as “manufacturers” such as in biomedical devices, pharmaceuticals, engineering technologies, computer and electronics, chemical, transportation equipment, machinery, electrical equipment, and petroleum, to name a few.
During its years of operation, M-NJ has been supporting DIDI statewide including this summer’s YMSA, and has created at least one stand-alone new network, known as MechaForce. MechaForce is an innovative, statewide initiative which is adapting the German dual skills apprenticeship model and is already offering the well-received Mechatronics curricula at public educational institutions at both the high school and collegiate levels.
YMSA@NJIT this summer is made possible through leadership of the Manufacturing Institute and Sandvik Coromant plus generous additional contributions from the following global and national companies: Amazon, Blackhawk Industrial Co., Doosan, Gene Haas Foundation, Quality Mill Supply Co., Inc and Okuma America Corporation.
For more information contact:
Raymond Vaccari, PMP
Director, NJ Advanced Manufacturing Talent Network
Gale Tenen Spak, Ph.D.
NJIT Associate Vice President for Continuing and Distance Learning and Prime Contact for the NJ Advanced Manufacturing Talent Network