America Makes continues to fulfill its mission of building an additive manufacturing (AM) talent pipeline across the state of Ohio with the announcement of the Ohio Secondary Education Additive Manufacturing Training Network.

Created in collaboration with and support from the Ohio Development Services Agency (OSDA), this network will provide formal education and training of AM technologies to high school students and their educators to ensure the next generation of Ohio workers are equipped with the skills to fill advanced manufacturing jobs. Initially, 10 high schools statewide, including those in both urban and rural settings and representing public, charter, and career and technical schools are participating in the network. This America Makes Education and Workforce Development (EWD) program is funded through the Fiscal Year 2020-21 State of Ohio operations budget.

According to the 2020 Ohio Manufacturing Report by the Ohio Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) & MAGNET, 57% of Ohio’s manufacturers indicated that the skilled worker shortage is the number one challenge impeding business growth. The Ohio Manufacturing Report aligns with national findings released by a 2021 study from Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute, which projects that by 2030 more than 2.1M U.S. manufacturing jobs are likely to go unfilled. The reason? The manufacturing skills gap. Eighty-two percent of those national respondents also reported that revenue growth is stagnating because of the inability to find skilled talent.

However, programs like the America Makes’ Ohio Secondary Education Additive Manufacturing Training Network are exactly the types of initiatives that can help to reverse this trend according to the Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute study. The network significantly expands training opportunities for both Ohio students and educators.

“There’s no question that our state and our nation are facing a significant skilled labor shortage and misalignment of skills and competencies,” said Josh Cramer, America Makes Education & Workforce Development Director. “We need to take action now with K-12 students, with immediate emphasis on focusing on secondary education students and empowering their educators—from teachers to principals and guidance counselors—to help them increase students’ awareness of AM technologies and advanced manufacturing careers. The awareness vacuum around manufacturing career opportunities is an even larger issue than the skills gap. With the creation of the Ohio Secondary Education Additive Manufacturing Training Network, we are building that critically needed additive talent pipeline across the state of Ohio.”

The Ohio Secondary Education Additive Manufacturing Training Network leverages best practices and industry-vetted content/curriculum from America Makes and its membership community; offers industry recognized credentialing and badges; and provides tailored training and coaching to teachers, principals, and counselors. It also includes a middle school toolkit, complete with teacher training, to encourage interest in AM in these students. Each school in the network is also receiving AM technology packages of six Dremel DigiLab 3D45 Advanced Idea Builder 3D Printer bundles with materials and supplies. Additionally, each school will receive support for community engagement activities, open houses, and participation in national AM events like RAPID + TCT 2021.

The 10 Ohio secondary schools participating in the network are:
• Grant Career Center
• Horizon Science Academy Columbus High School
• Apollo Career Center
• Ashtabula County Technical and Career Center (A-Tech)
• Butler Tech
• MCCTC and Valley Stem
• The Dayton Regional STEM School
• Windham Exempted Village Schools
• Theodore Roosevelt High School
• Marietta High School

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