Wolf Administration: New Machining and Robotics Apprenticeship Opportunities Available in Allegheny County
September 29, 2020
Governor Tom Wolf announced the approval of new funding for three apprenticeship programs at New Century Careers (NCC) in Allegheny County through the Department of Community and Economic Development’s (DCED) Apprenticeship Grant Program. This funding will support the governor’s commitment to expanding job training-related opportunities throughout Pennsylvania.
“With three programs available—one being a newly-launched robotics course—New Century Careers will provide training to 120 apprentices,” said Gov. Wolf. “Funding programs like this through the administration’s PAsmart initiative positions apprentices for successful careers by connecting them with participating companies that critically need high-quality trained employees.”
New Century Careers, of Pittsburgh City, received $249,900 to provide training through its Manufacturing 2000 (M2K) Pre-Apprenticeship Machinist Training Program, Group Non-Joint (GNJ) Machinist Apprenticeship Program, and Group Non-Joint Robotics Technician Apprenticeship (RTA) Program. The M2K Pre-Apprenticeship program will provide up to 600 hours of hands-on machining competency development, online coursework, instructor-led classroom training, industry credentialing, and career development. The GNJ Machinist Apprenticeship Program will provide related classroom instruction for the four-year National tooling & Machining Association Apprenticeship Program, providing 144 hours of classroom instruction per year. For the RTA program apprentices will receive related technical instruction through the Community College of Allegheny County, Catalyst Connection, and Tooling-U/SME, for a total of 296.5 hours of related instruction in two years.
“New Century Careers will be able to continue to align our efforts in our registered pre-apprenticeship program, MANUFACTURING 2000 (M2K) and help to increase future numbers of individuals seeking entry into our PA registered 4-year machinists program,” said NCC President and CEO Neil Ashbaugh. “Additionally, this funding will help us engage employers and employees working in the automation and robotics industry to implement our registered 2-year program for robotic technicians.”
By the end of the grant period, a total of 90 M2K Pre-Apprentices, 15 Group Non-Joint Machining Apprentices, and 15 Group Non-Joint Robotics Technician Apprentices will have enrolled.
These programs will have a great impact on companies participating with the programs, which are facing an urgent need for a highly-skilled manufacturing workforce. The funding will allow for an increase in the region’s pool of skilled workers during the grant period and beyond; fill a gap for manufacturing employers with a continuous source of skilled workers and a larger pool of well-trained potential employees to interview and hire for entry-level positions. This will help the region remain competitive through an enhanced workforce development system, new apprenticeship programs like RTA, and coordinated efforts from NCC for the Apprenticeship and Pre-Apprenticeship programs.
Apprenticeship programs provide critical access to career pathways and enable apprentices to develop the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to compete in today’s economy. Classroom training is a required component of registered apprenticeship programs across Pennsylvania and complements traditional on-the-job training. The technical material taught in a classroom environment enables apprentices to learn fundamental concepts, terminology, procedures, safety requirements, and basic tools and instruments.
Apprenticeships are a key component of Governor Wolf’s PAsmart initiative, an innovative way to improve coordination between state agencies, cut red tape, and invest in people and businesses to expand innovative job training in apprenticeships and other programs so workers get the skills they need to compete in the global economy.
The Pre-Apprentice and Apprenticeship Grant Program is a statewide program that offers assistance to registered apprenticeship programs. The program’s goal is to increase apprenticeship availability to Pennsylvania employers to assist them with their talent recruitment and development.