INDIANAPOLIS (September 23, 2013) – Project Lead The Way (PLTW) is a proud supporter of National Manufacturing Day, held this year on Friday, October 4. The Fabricators and Manufacturers Association, International (FMA) designated this day to help the public better understand what manufacturing is and how it is crucial for our economy.
As the nation’s leading STEM program, PLTW strongly supports manufacturing and manufacturing education. National Manufacturing Day is an excellent way to introduce students to the entire process of manufacturing, from R&D to reverse logistics and every step in between, as well as high-tech and innovative career opportunities in manufacturing. Manufacturing Day is also an excellent way to help schools develop relationships with local manufacturing organizations and their employees.
There are several ways that communities, school districts, schools, teachers, and students can get involved with National Manufacturing Day. The Manufacturing Day website provides a search tool to find manufacturers that are hosting events on October 4. The site is also set up for manufacturing organizations to register to host an event, which then becomes part of a searchable database to better connect to the community. There are also resources such as an event tool kit, career resources, videos, and more. PLTW encourages schools to use this as an opportunity to connect to local industry and encourages manufacturers to host an event as a way to connect with their community, to inform the public on the high-tech advances in manufacturing, and to inspire a new generation of manufacturers.
PLTW and Manufacturing In the 2013-14 school year, more than 5,200 schools are offering at least one of PLTW’s three middle school and high school programs. The high school Pathway To Engineering program offers a Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) course, which seeks to help students understand the high-tech, innovative nature of modern manufacturing. CIM illuminates the opportunities in a manufacturing career while teaching students about designing products for manufacturability, manufacturing processes, CNC machining, factory system modeling, automation, and robotics. Through the course, students have an opportunity to earn a virtual manufacturing badge (PLTW CIM Badge), recognized by the National Manufacturing Badge system.
In partnership with the Manufacturing Institute, SkillsUSA, and other organizations, PLTW has a key role as a part of the National Manufacturing Badge System (M-Badge) project team. The National Manufacturing Badge System will recognize and credential the skills learned by students participating in PLTW’s CIM course with a virtual manufacturing badge (PLTW CIM Badge) to attach to their portfolio.
The PLTW CIM Badge: • Allows students to display their skills and achievements acquired in the CIM course to potential employers • Instantly conveys to employers what students know and what skills and experiences they bring to the table • Indicates that an individual has the potential to be successful in manufacturing careers
The rigor and relevance of PLTW’s engineering curriculum, and especially the CIM course, is also evidenced in Toyota Motor Manufacturing’s Advanced Manufacturing Technician (AMT) Program. Finding themselves with a need for students with the skills and competencies to work as skilled technicians, Toyota executives turned to PLTW.
The AMT partnership prepares graduating PLTW seniors for in-demand manufacturing careers and offers them a unique opportunity to earn a salary with Toyota while working toward an associate degree through a local community college. Students accepted into the program attend classes in electricity, fluid power, mechanics, and fabrication two days per week. They also gain invaluable training and work experience at Toyota’s plants three days per week with the potential to earn up to $40,000 over the two-year period. Students are accepted into the AMT program on the basis of academic achievement (grades and class rank), math skills (as measured by ACT or SAT score), and participation in PLTW coursework. The program is running in the five states of Kentucky, West Virginia, Indiana, Mississippi, and Texas.
Through the PLTW program, Computer Integrated Manufacturing course, and partnerships with organizations like Toyota, the Manufacturing Institute, National Manufacturing Badge System, and Society of Manufacturing Engineering (SME) Education Foundation, PLTW is advancing manufacturing education in the classroom.
Get involved in National Manufacturing Day on Friday, October 4, and help make a difference for students and the future of manufacturing!