America Makes and Robert C Byrd Institute to Unveil the First-ever Industry-vetted Additive Manufacturing Registered Apprenticeship Framework at March 6th Forum

February 05, 2018 | Categories: America Makes News

Youngstown, Ohio — February 5, 2018. America Makes proudly announces its collaboration with the Robert C. Byrd Institute (RCBI) to host a free, one-day public forum on Tuesday, March 6, 2018, on the Apprenticeship Works Program to promote the expansion of advanced manufacturing apprenticeships and unveil the first-ever, industry-vetted Additive Manufacturing (AM)/3D Printing Technician Registered Apprenticeship framework. The new framework leverages learnings directly from the America Makes Workforce and Education Roadmap and empowers employers nationwide to develop and customize AM/3DP apprenticeships to create a highly skilled workforce.

This special Apprenticeship Works event will be held on the campus of America Makes member, Youngstown State University. While the forum is free, registration is required.

RCBI, a founding member of America Makes, leads Apprenticeship Works—the National Advanced Manufacturing Apprenticeship Program, which is an American Apprenticeship Initiative supported by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). Through Apprenticeship Works, RCBI works with partners across the United States to expand apprenticeship opportunities in advanced manufacturing, making them more accessible and affordable for employers.

“Today across the United States, there is a great need for highly skilled workers in advanced manufacturing positions, particularly for those new occupations within the additive manufacturing industry,” said Vicki Thompson, MAEd, America Makes Workforce & Education Lead. “The goal of the Apprenticeship Works Program by RCBI is to expand the nationwide availability of apprenticeships overall with a specific goal of increasing advanced manufacturing apprenticeship opportunities. For more than five years, America Makes, as the national accelerator for additive manufacturing, has worked to accelerate the adoption of additive technologies and to develop a skilled workforce to serve this growing and innovative industry to enhance our nation’s global competitiveness.

“With the creation of the AM Technician Registered Apprenticeship framework, together RCBI and America Makes, working in conjunction with the America Makes membership community, have developed an invaluable, industry-vetted framework to help U.S. employers offer customizable curriculum and training programs to establish registered apprenticeship opportunities within their organizations,” continued Ms. Thompson. “We are proud of the AM Technician Registered Apprenticeship framework and our collaboration with RCBI, as it also served as a great opportunity to build on an already positive, long-standing relationship.”

Occupational frameworks provide an outline of what an apprentice will learn on the job, as well as through related training. The new AM framework was developed out of the work led by the America Makes Workforce and Education task force, which also includes Tooling U-SME, another Apprenticeship Works partner, as well as many manufacturers that assisted in the development of the framework.

For employers, the return on investment of apprenticeships is substantial. Apprenticeship programs help employers upskill incumbent workers and allow employers to hire unskilled workers and lead them on a journey to become highly skilled workers. As a result, these organizations improve productivity and profitability, retain highly skilled workers, reduce turnover, and attract better applicants.

“We are excited about the creation and release of the AM Technician Registered Apprenticeship framework as part of our Apprenticeship Works Program,” said Lucinda Curry, Director of Apprenticeship Works, RCBI. “America Makes, along with its membership community, was crucial to the successful creation of the new framework, which is the first and only AM registered apprenticeship framework to be vetted by the industry.”

In addition to the release of the new framework the Apprenticeship Works forum will also feature Eric M. Seleznow, Senior Advisor, Jobs for the Future, presenting on “How Apprenticeship Programs Work for Employers.” Representatives from Mohawk Flooring, Weyerhaeuser, Butech Bliss, Reddog Industries, and Martin Engineering, will share their insights about and experience with apprenticeships. A tour of the America Makes Innovation Factory is also being offered to attendees upon the conclusion the forum.

Who Should Attend?

The Apprenticeship Works forum hosted by America Makes is ideal for employers, operations managers, plant managers, HR managers, and anyone else within the additive industry and advanced manufacturing interested in finding out what an apprenticeship program is, what it offers an organization, and what it takes to launch an apprenticeship program.

“This national Apprenticeship Works forum is an opportunity for industry and others to find out what an apprenticeship program can do for them,” said Charlotte Weber, Director & CEO of RCBI. “Additive manufacturing is growing tremendously, and now is the time to tackle skills development through apprenticeship programs.”

The Apprenticeship Works Program’s unique model provides standardized, industry-endorsed educational opportunities through on-the-job learning, as well as related technical and practical instruction for companies with work sites in multiple states. This approach ensures quality, affordable training regardless of location for both incumbents and new hires. Additionally, a primary focus of the Apprenticeship Works Program includes innovative pre-apprenticeship programs for women, transitioning military personnel, and disadvantaged youth.

More information about the Apprenticeship Works forum is available at The March 6th forum is free, but registration is required.

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About America Makes

America Makes is the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute. As the national accelerator for additive manufacturing (AM), America Makes is the nation’s leading and collaborative partner in AM and 3DP technology research, discovery, creation, and innovation. Structured as a public-private partnership with member organizations from industry, academia, government, non-government agencies, and workforce and economic development resources, we are working together to innovate and accelerate AM to increase our nation’s global manufacturing competitiveness. Based in Youngstown, Ohio, America Makes is the first Institute within the Manufacturing USA infrastructure and is driven by the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM). For more information about America Makes, visit



NCDMM delivers innovative and collaborative manufacturing solutions that enhance our nation’s workforce and economic competitiveness. NCDMM has extensive knowledge and depth in manufacturing areas—both commercial and defense—to continually innovate, improve, and advance manufacturing technologies and methodologies. Our experienced team specializes in identifying the needs, the players, the technologies, and processes to attain optimal solutions for our customers. We connect the dots. That’s the NCDMM methodology. NCDMM also manages the national accelerator for additive manufacturing (AM) and 3D printing (3DP), America Makes—the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute. For additional information, visit the NCDMM at


About the Robert C. Byrd Institute (RCBI)

The Robert C. Byrd Institute (RCBI) encourages job creation, economic development, innovation, and entrepreneurship by supporting manufacturing companies of all sizes. RCBI offers a comprehensive stable of resources to support economic development and growth across the United States. For more information, visit