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Game Changing Apprenticeship Program Opens Career Pathways to fill 4.8 Million Jobs

By FloridaMakes Network posted 11-10-2020 00:00


It’s estimated that by 2028, U.S. manufacturers will need to fill 4.6 million jobs, however one hurdle stands in the way of this: the industry skills gap. To combat this problem, FloridaMakes created and sponsors the Industrial Manufacturing Technician (IMT) Apprenticeship program. The program aims to transform the traditional model of apprenticeships which were rooted in classroom work coupled with the regular responsibilities of fulltime employment. The new model, specifically tailored to meet evolving work styles, maximizes technology via on-demand e-learning and focuses on excelling at key competencies versus logged classroom hours.

 “This program is a game changer for small- and medium-sized manufacturers and those based in rural communities where access to vocational centers are a challenge,” said Mary Ann Pacelli, program manager for Workforce Development, Extension Services at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). “This program will also help families whose time is already stretched.”

Through guidance from the Florida Advanced Manufacturing Workforce Leadership Council (AMWLC), FloridaMakes collaborated with workforce boards and regional manufacturers associations around the state to develop the program requirements and curriculum. All aspects of the program integrate technology in an effort to engage future Gen Z talent. The AMWLC, through a sector strategy approach, serves to provide an essential business feedback loop to ensure Florida’s training and workforce system has a deep understanding of, and is responsive to, the talent needs of the advanced manufacturing industry sector. The Council is comprised of manufacturing CEOs, plant managers and HR executives representing Florida’s regional manufacturers association network, work together with other industry stakeholders to address statewide talent and workforce policy matters like the need for new apprenticeship models like this one.

“Online training is essential to the success of this program,” says Roy Sweatman, chairman of the AMWLC and CEO of Southern Manufacturing Technologies. “It’s short enough to feel attainable and flexible enough so that almost any manufacturing businesses can participate.”

Launching any large-scale during a pandemic is a challenge, however the manufacturing sector has already had to adapt to schedule disruptions, remote working, virtual training, social distancing and supply chain issues. The program presents a promising opportunity for the manufacturing sector to adapt even more and help put newcomers on a faster development path. FloridaMakes has created a user-friendly turnkey training program that provides employers hassle-free enrollment. The program offers the best online industry curriculum aligned with on-the-job training guidelines. The apprentices will be able to apply theory to those new skills relevant in the actual workplace.

“Apprenticeships have always been a win-win,” says Tina Berger, Director of Talent Development FloridaMakes and the Executive Director of the AMWLC. “We don’t want to miss the opportunity to fill those estimated 4.6 million jobs, that for some employees, will yield a potential $300,000 in career earnings. The time is now to adapt and move into the future.”

To learn how you can participate in valuable apprenticeship programs that grow and sustain the manufacturing talent pipeline visit: