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Pittsburgh-Based Training Center To Launch Advanced Robotics Apprenticeship

Published Tuesday, November 19, 2019
by Ryan Golden/HR Drive
Pittsburgh-Based Training Center To Launch Advanced Robotics Apprenticeship

(PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA) - Pittsburgh-based Training Center New Century Careers (NCC) will launch a two-year robotics Technician Apprenticeship Program, Pennsylvania's Department of Labor and Industry has announced.

Apprentices in the program will be required to take 4,000 hours of on-the-job training across more than 70 competencies, according to a statement.  They'll also receive technical training from three entities: Community College of Allegheny County: Local Economic Development Agency Catalyst Connection and Non-Profit Learning Technology Organization Tooling U-SME.  The program will cover skills in both robotics and automation.

NCC's program is part of a $30 million investment in Apprenticeships and Job Training Programs over two years by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf (Democrat).

The Robotics Technician Program also received grants from a consortium that is part of the Manufacturing USA Research Institute Network.

Advanced robotics could change the face of several industries, from retail to manufacturing, but few organizations have deliberate plans for adapting to technologies they're adopting.

Earlier this year, a survey by Willis Towers Watson revealed that while 95% of companies expect their businesses will be using robotics, artificial intelligence and other forms of automation in three years' time, only 14% had what the advisory firm termed an "integrated digital and business strategy and road map."

The seeming mismatch between Employees' skills and their employers' futures is just one facet of the skills gap and officials - including NCC's Director of Services, Neil Ashbaugh, said the organization believes Apprenticeships could help Workers catch up.

"Over two decades, NCC has demonstrated that apprenticeships are an effective entry point to a family wage career and a lifetime of continuous learning in the latest industry trends required for advancement," Ashbaugh said in the department's statement.

Nationally, employers say they're seeing opportunity in the Apprenticeship Model

Workers who enter the programs reportedly benefit, too, with U.S. Apprentices earning an average annual starting wage of $60,000 or more, according to an April report from the Institute for Workplace Skills and Innovation America.

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