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Preparing a highly-skilled workforce for manufacturing

Manufacturing Group | April 22, 2014

Siemens makes nearly $660M investment in software grants for Massachusetts Schools to educate and train workers for manufacturing industry

Worcester, Massachusetts – Siemens officials announced nearly $660 million of in-kind software grants for manufacturing programs at vocational high schools, technical community colleges, and universities throughout Massachusetts. Students will now have access to the same Siemens’ product lifecycle management (PLM) software used throughout the global manufacturing industry to design, develop and manufacture some of the world’s most sophisticated products in a variety of industries, including automotive, aerospace, consumer products, medical devices, machinery, shipbuilding, apparel and high-tech electronics.

The series of in-kind grants was established as a result of an industry need for skilled workers identified through the Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MassMEP) and the Manufacturing Advancement Center Workforce Innovation Collaborative (MACWIC), an alliance of next-generation companies working to provide employer-led workforce training initiatives. Siemens Metals Technologies (MT) business, with its advanced manufacturing facility located in Worcester, is a founding member of MACWIC and serves on the steering committee. The academic partnerships are designed to support MACWIC’s Applied Manufacturing Technology Certification Pathway, an advanced manufacturing certification program.

“The manufacturing industry in America is on the rise and is being transformed by a software revolution that is enhancing productivity, increasing efficiency, and speeding time to market. In Massachusetts it’s the top contributor of gross state product, employing more than 250,000 people,” said Chuck Grindstaff, president and CEO, Siemens PLM Software. “This revolution requires a highly trained workforce. Thanks to support of MassMEP, MACWIC, and Siemens MT Worcester, Massachusetts schools will integrate world-class PLM technology into their curriculum, so that students are even better prepared for high quality manufacturing jobs.”

Thirteen academic partners throughout the state are receiving in-kind software grants to support curriculum and training programs including: Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), Fitchburg State University, Quinsigamond Community College, Berkshire Community College, Mount Wachusett Community College, Northern Essex Community College, MassBay Community College, Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical School, Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School, Tantasqua Regional Senior High School, Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational High School, and Worcester Technical High School. MassMEP, part of the national NIST MEP system, will provide advanced training on Siemens PLM software to automate manufacturing processes with equipment on a plant floor.

“Formerly, competition in manufacturing was determined by capital investment and low labor costs. Today’s manufacturing competitiveness is being determined by a skilled and technology enabled workforce capable of creating value in both processes and products,” said Jack Healy, Director of Operations for MassMEP. “Educating people for this type of workforce has always been a race between education and technology. Siemens through this initiative is allowing our state’s education system to catch up in this race by providing students the opportunity to participate in the unlimited challenge that will be offered for the next generation of manufacturers.”

“In partnership with Mass MEP and the Massachusetts community colleges, Siemens software leverages the role of education in driving the state’s advanced manufacturing industry,” said Quinsigamond Community College President Gail E. Carberry. “Our goal is to create the most productive advanced manufacturing workforce in the nation.”

“With this software grant to educational institutions, Siemens is demonstrating the farsighted vision to invest in development of a workforce educated for the next phase of manufacturing practice in the United States – one in which advanced software at the hands of smart workers provides value through highly flexible processes and instantaneous response for customization through automated manufacturing. WPI is glad to be a partner in this effort,” said David Cyganski, Worcester Polytechnic Institute Dean of Engineering.

The Patrick Administration is committed to supporting the growth of advanced manufacturing in Massachusetts, an industry that is expected to fill 100,000 jobs in the next decade in the Commonwealth and offers careers in a sector with an average annual salary of $75,000.

“Advanced manufacturing is growing in Massachusetts, and is an area of critical focus for us,” said Governor Deval Patrick. “I thank Siemens for their wise investment in creating a stronger Commonwealth.”

As software plays an increasing role in the next era of manufacturing, students and faculty will use the software in assignments and research related to computer-aided-design, engineering simulation, industrial design, digital manufacturing and manufacturing management. The in-kind grant will also help to expand and modernize manufacturing curriculum in design and process technologies. By using the software in their course work, academic and research projects, students can develop the advanced skills sought after by the more than 77,000 global customers who utilize Siemens’ software and technology solutions. This includes nearly 150 companies throughout the Boston and Worcester regions and state of Massachusetts who rely on Siemens’ PLM and CAD software including employers such as: Reebok, Textron, Raytheon, and Midstate Berkshire.

“Manufacturing is the most sophisticated, forward-looking and innovative business function in the world today and we need to let students, parents and administrators know what these jobs look like and what students need to learn in order to get them,” said Eric Spiegel, president and CEO, Siemens USA. “This partnership can serve as an economic catalyst for the region, the state, and the country.”

Source: Siemens

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