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Colorado

Workforce Innovation Submitted By:
Denver OED


Advanced Manufacturing Academy

Community Challenge/Problem

Colorado has made it a priority to promote advanced manufacturing in the state and assist in growing a skilled workforce. However, there is a lack of qualified manufacturing workers. The jobs in this industry pay well and have many opportunities for advancement, and advanced manufacturing employers aren't just looking for workers to perform specific, repetitive tasks. Instead, they need workers who can continually focus on innovating both the product and the process for making it. They are looking for a wide range of foundational skills, from basic employability to some advanced technical abilities.

Board Solution/Innovation

In order to boost the worker pipeline to meet employer needs, the Denver Office of Economic/Workforce Development created the Advanced Manufacturing/Engineering Academy. The academy will be for youth interested in exploring careers in advanced manufacturing which can include; machinists, tool & die makers, mechanical drafter, welders, computer-controlled machine tool operators, calibration technician, sheet metal worker and other machine operators. The academy will also give a broad overview of career pathways from the above jobs to positions that require further education, such as engineering, within the field of advanced manufacturing. Under this module youth will learn about education and training needed for various careers. The curriculum will include guest speakers from various careers, field trips to Emily Griffith Technical College and an advanced manufacturing plant in Denver.

Outcomes & Results

The first group of youth completed studies at the academy in August 2013. During the training, they received a broad overview on the required education and training in advanced manufacturing career pathways. They also were coached on job readiness skills including: personal effectiveness, workplace competencies, technical and academic competencies. In all, the students completed 48 hours of classroom and field training.
They also worked on applied math skills, and at the end of the course, all students had increased their applied math scores.

As a final project, the students completed a 3-D model of an advanced manufacturing plant and developed an overview of how the product would be mass-produced.

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