The replenishment of the metalworking and machining trade has been high on all of our minds for years. While government, much of academia and our culture have generally ignored this need, there are creative, dedicated folks trying to do something about the “manufacturing malaise” in the U.S.
The MMS Online Web Links Repository (www.mmsonline.com/links) includes an Education subcategory with links to many of the resources, schools, organizations and companies deeply involved in the struggle. Here are a couple:
Focus: HOPE (www.focushope.edu)—To try to describe Focus:HOPE in one paragraph would be an insult to a wonderfully intricate and original organization. Part of what Focus:HOPE does is provide a top-shelf manufacturing and metalworking education to some that may have not had the opportunity otherwise. And they produce some outstanding machinists and manufacturing professionals. As an educator, machinist, manufacturing manager—or just a person—you owe it to yourself to check this out. If you are not inspired by this, then you have to get out more often.
National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) (www.nims-skills.org)—NIMS is a non profit organization formed in 1995 to support the development of a skilled workforce for the metalworking industry. NIMS support is accomplished through four activities: developing, writing, validating, and maintaining skill standards; credentialing the skills of individuals against the skill standards; certifying training programs that meet or exceed NIMS quality requirements; and assisting states, schools, and companies to form partnerships.
Tooling University (www.toolingu.com)—“Tooling U” uses the university metaphor to administrate, deliver and develop its metalworking- and machining-rich curricula to individuals, groups or corporations. “TU” has launched with courses that run the metalworking gamut. Its Web site serves a model of great depth and complexity; it is as ambitious itself as training in the machining arts. But TU has done a wonderful job of coordinating and complementing a rich environment with a worthy online interface.
There are many more entities out there doing their bit for this cause. Do you know of a school, a business or an organization with a Web presence dedicated specifically to these efforts, one that’s approaching this challenge directly or creatively? If so, then we’d like to hear from you. Send me your suggestions at the e-mail address below.
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