Siemens has invested $660 million for manufacturing programs at vocational high schools, technical community colleges and universities throughout Massachusetts. The investment will give students access to the same Siemens' product lifecycle management (PLM) software used throughout the global manufacturing industry to design, develop and manufacture some of the most sophisticated products in a variety of industries, including automotive, aerospace, consumer products, medical devices, machinery, shipbuilding, apparel and high-tech electronics.
The program came about the existing need to fulfill job positions across the industry and the lack of interest current students have to join the manufacturing workforce. The Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MassMEP) and the Manufacturing Advancement Center Workforce Innovation Collaborative (MACWIC) program recognized this need and spearheaded the program. They established academic partnerships designed to support MACWIC's Applied Manufacturing Technology Certification Pathway, which is an advanced manufacturing certification program.
According to Chuck Grindstaff, president and CEO of Siemens PLM Software the manufacturing industry in America is on the rise and is being transformed by a software revolution that is enhancing productivity, increasing efficiency and speeding time to market.
"In Massachusetts it's the top contributor of gross state product, employing more than 250,000 people," said Grindstaff. "This revolution requires a highly trained workforce and thanks to support of MassMEP, MACWIC and Siemens MT Worcester, Massachusetts schools will integrate world-class PLM technology into their curriculum, so that students are even better prepared for high quality manufacturing jobs."
There are 13 academic partners participating in this program. They are: Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), Fitchburg State University, Quinsigamond Community College, Berkshire Community College, Mount Wachusett Community College, North Essex Community College, MassBay Community College, Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical School, Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School, Tantasqua Regional Senior High School, Greater New Bedford Regional Vocation High School and Worcester Technical High School.
In Massachusetts alone, the industry is expected to fill 100,000 jobs in the next decade and the various careers offered in the sector have an average annual salary of $75,000. Programs such as Siemens' in-kind grant will prepare future workers to fulfill these jobs.