With technical advisement from GE Additive, Cincinnati State’s Workforce Development Center will use a $393,000 grant from the federally-funded LIFT Institute to develop a training program for additive technicians that will help fill a major skills gap in the additive manufacturing (3-D printing) industry.
Program details were announced at a news conference on Sep. 6, at GE Additive in West Chester.
“As additive manufacturing continues to grow, so will the need for skilled workers who are familiar with and trained in the technology,” said Mohammad Ehteshami, Vice President & General Manager for GE Additive.
“As the leader in additive manufacturing, GE Additive is proud to assist Cincinnati State in developing curriculum for the next generation of employees,” Ehteshami said.
Cincinnati State President Dr. Monica Posey said, “Cincinnati State has great expertise creating education programs, but collaboration with industry partners such as GE Additive is essential to addressing current and future workforce needs. Effective collaboration is also essential to making our region competitive, especially in a rapidly evolving industry such as additive manufacturing.”
The new training program is one of several collaborative efforts announced at the news conference:
- On Oct. 5, Cincinnati State and GE Additive will host a first-of-its-kind Additive Technology Business Symposium at GE Additive in West Chester. More than 100 businesses from throughout Greater Cincinnati and Dayton are expected to attend. Proceeds from the event will go to Cincinnati State’s Workforce Focus Fund to support additive technician training scholarships.
- The Village of Evendale is using a $500,000 grant from Jobs Ohio to help development of AeroHUB, a planned 240-acre advanced manufacturing accelerator next to I-75 that is designed to bring together manufacturers, designers, educators, and researchers in an environment that fosters innovation in the aerospace and additive fields.
- A Technical Advisory Committee has been formed to promote the region’s additive industry. The group includes representatives from GE Additive, Cincinnati State, Procter & Gamble, Techsolve, Rhinestahl, the University of Cincinnati, Jobs Ohio, REDI, Able Tool, Kinetic Vision, and others.
- Cincinnati State is also leveraging $3.5 million in federal and state awards to create an advanced manufacturing career pathway based on input from industry partners. The pathway provides new students and incumbent workers the opportunity step up from a certificate to an associate's degree to a bachelor’s degree in the engineering technology field.
Experts around the world agree that additive manufacturing, or 3-D printing, will revolutionize the way things are made, and also will make it possible to build objects and parts once thought impossible, in aviation, medicine, and many other industries.
“Additive manufacturing is often called the new Industrial Revolution. It is one of the most disruptive manufacturing technologies to come along in years,” Ehteshami said.
A 2016 report by Deloitte University Press estimates that the global 3-D printing industry will grow to $21 billion by 2020, up from $4.1 billion in 2014.
That growth will add to the soaring demand for skilled labor in the additive field.
GE launched GE Additive a year ago after more than 20 years of experience in the additive field, including creation of the first 3-D printed part for the CFM LEAP engine, a fuel nozzle that once required 20 different parts to build, but now is one part that is 25 percent lighter.
GE Additive acquired two major 3-D printer manufacturers in the past year and plans to achieve revenues of $1 billion by 2020.
“Our region should be proud to have education and workforce partners like Cincinnati State working so proactively with corporate and public leaders like GE, JobsOhio, and Evendale to make additive advanced manufacturing a top priority for our region,” said Johnna Reeder, President and CEO, REDI Cincinnati. "This is an exciting industry with tremendous growth potential on a global scale.”