The Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing (ARM) Institute has today announced that it is to launch an online resource, www.roboticscareer.org, which has been designed to help address the skilled workforce challenge in U.S. manufacturing. The Pittsburgh-based research group also announved that this national capability was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense.
The ARM Institute declares itself to be the USA’s leading collaborative in robotics and workforce innovation, working at the confluence of industry, government, and academia. The Institute is structured as a public-private partnership, with the ARM and its member organizations seeking to catalyze robotic technologies and education solutions to strengthen the U.S. industrial base and secure U.S. manufacturing resiliency. The institute is sponsored by the US Department of Defense and has a diverse membership base including start-ups, robotics suppliers, research universities, community colleges, manufacturers of all sizes, unions, government agencies, workforce development organizations, and more.
A recent media report by CNN revealed that the manufacturing industry has an unprecedented number of job openings needing to be filled today with more than 500,000 positions vacant due to U.S. factories struggling to find both entry-level and skilled workers. A May 2021 study published by Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute has also estimated that as many as 2.1 million manufacturing jobs will remain unfilled up to 2030 which could ultimately cost the U.S. economy $1 trillion. According to a subsequent report from Burning Glass, the Boston-based analytics software company, one of the most in-demand roles is for robotics technicians.
The ARM Institute claims to have been aware of this issue since its formation in early 2017 and has sought to leverage its 300+ member consortium and strategic partners in the Department of Defense, Department of Labor, and Department of Commerce to supporting the USA’s efforts to tackle this issue.
RoboticsCareer.org is a federally-funded, national resource that strives to connect students and workers with leading robotics education programs for manufacturing careers. The website is updated on a daily basis, with the free-to-use resource today listing approximately 10,000 programs from over 1,200 educational organizations in the United States and Territories. Users can check job openings in their region and sector by a simple search based upon location, education delivery (e.g. online or onsite) and other keywords.
The ARM Institute consortium has also claimed to have identified the competencies and skills that manufacturers most desire for robotics roles, with these competencies matched to every program, providing insight and guidance to education and job seekers.
The ARM institute also underlined that the other capabilities provided by their national resource include:
- Broad recognition of robotics education and training programs from badges and micro-credentials to PhDs
- Defined competency models and robotics job pathways necessary to meet the skills requirements for advanced manufacturing in the United States
- Endorsed training programs which conform to national consortium-defined requirements that best prepare education seekers for successful careers in advanced manufacturing