Many things are said about the manufacturing industry. Manufacturing is dead in the U.S. … the jobs in manufacturing are low paying … career prospects in manufacturing are limited. These claims are simply not true.  Although the total number of manufacturing jobs have declined in the past forty years, some new jobs have replaced the old ones and manufacturing remains an essential part of our economy. Due to the retirement of existing workers and economic expansion, an estimated 3.5 million manufacturing jobs will need to be filled over the next decade. Career paths in manufacturing lead to a multitude of good jobs that include, living wages, good benefits, diverse occupations and multiple paths for advancement.  Registered apprenticeship is an important element to careers in the manufacturing industry. In conjunction with the Keystone Development Partnership, employers and other workforce intermediaries nationwide, the AFL-CIO Working for America Institute is developing apprenticeship opportunities for Industrial Manufacturing Technicians and many other occupations in advanced manufacturing.

Manufacturing and Registered Apprenticeship Toolkit released at Manufacturing Apprenticeship Accelerator meeting

Manufacturing has been, and continues to be, a cornerstone of our nation’s economy. The benefits of a healthy manufacturing economy spread far beyond manufacturing itself creating value for local and regional economies and our national competitiveness. The AFL-CIO Working for America Institute and ApprenticeshipUSA have developed a toolkit to assist companies, unions and other stakeholders to develop, register and implement apprenticeship programs. It includes a description of the key components of Registered Apprenticeship, the relationship to career pathways, and the role of joint labor-management partnerships. A final section discusses apprenticeship readiness programs. The toolkit provides examples of manufacturing occupational standards, lists resources, and identifies members of the Industrial Union Council.

The Industrial Manufacturing Technician (IMT) Registered Apprenticeship Program

The IMT hybrid registered apprenticeship provides production workers with the knowledge and competencies needed in the advanced manufacturing environment. This 18-month or 3,000-hour apprenticeship trains workers to: set up, operate, monitor, and control production equipment; help improve manufacturing processes and schedules to meet customer requirements; understand manufacturing as a business system that integrates multiple disciplines, processes, and stakeholders; and efficiently and safely manage time and materials.

New! Moving Apprenticeship Into Manufacturing’s Future: Industrial Manufacturing Technician, report by the Center on Wisconsin Strategies (COWS)