November 10, 2020; Santa Fe, NM: Fab Lab Hub, LLC, a New Mexico advanced manufacturing service bureau, announces that the U.S. Department of Labor has approved a registered apprenticeship for an additive manufacturing specialist. The 1-year program will provide on the job training for workers at the company’s Santa Fe, New Mexico location that leads to full time employment operating a range of 3D Printing machines.
“Apprenticeships are formal, tried and true pathways to engaging, well-paying careers without a college degree,” explains Fab Lab Hub founder and CEO, Sarah Boisvert. “We are taking a training model that has had strong success, especially in Germany, and updating it for the 21st century.” The job title alone is a new one in the manufacturing industry as additive manufacturing has only recently come to the mainstream in terms of production quality and speed. Fab Lab Hub is a member of America Makes, the national additive manufacturing institute, and their apprenticeship framework built upon work developed by America Makes, in collaboration with the Urban Institute.
In addition, the education component of the new apprenticeship will utilize New Collar Network Digital Badge micro-certifications developed partially through funding from America Makes. “Each skill-specific badge is short in duration and provides a verification that our workers have mastered an element of their job’s skill requirement”, explains Ms. Boisvert.
The New Collar Network, of which Fab Lab Hub is a founding member, is a North American non-profit that offers low-cost options and pathways to higher education. A recognized organization in the international Fab Lab Network founded at MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms, the New Collar Network issues badges in digital design, 3D Printing, laser and CNC machining, entrepreneurship, design thinking and more. Digital Badges in IT from IBM’s pre-apprenticeship portfolio, delivered by Youngstown State University, will also be incorporated into the training aspect of the apprenticeship.
The additive manufacturing specialist apprenticeship was designed and registered in partnership with Youngstown State University’s registered DOL apprenticeship program. “We are thrilled to work with Fab Lab Hub on this initiative to expand new ways of developing talent for the additive manufacturing industry. Integrating IT credentials, offered through IBM, alongside manufacturing credentials demonstrates the important need to build IT skills in areas like advanced manufacturing.” Jennifer Oddo, Executive Director, YSU Strategic Workforce Education and Innovation. Ms. Boisvert reiterates: “Our partnership with Youngstown State University was instrumental in securing our Department of Labor approval in short order. We could not have done it without Jennifer and her team!”
Fab Lab Hub expects to hire 2 full time apprentices before year end, with 2 more positions being filled in January. The company is planning a robust outreach program to Latino and Native American communities since workforce diversity is especially low in high tech manufacturing. “With free education and a starting salary of $38,000 while preparing for a $60,000 entry level position,” says Ms. Boisvert, “We hope to create a path toward the Future of Work for anyone who has interest in working with cool, technologies that are right out of science fiction.”
Courtesy of Fab Lab Hub