Festo Didactic’s mechatronics course exposes students to advanced technology

The program trains Festo employees and those of other companies in the region, including Art Metal Group, Clippard Instruments, E-Beam, MQ Automation, Nestle and many more.

In November, Festool announced the new MAP program, which aims to make the apprenticeship program more useful for manufacturers and new technicians.

Karolyn Ellingson, Industrial Workforce Development Director at Festo Didactic, said: “Employers are saying ‘faster’ – faster to train, faster to develop skills, faster for employees to acquire knowledge.”

She and others conduct fact-finding missions for other similar projects to learn more about how they work. The result is a 57-week program that allows apprentices to spend four days a week on the job and one day a week in MAP, where they spend approximately 30% of their time in class and 70% in hands-on work laboratory. Participants will be accepted on a rolling basis, which allows them to start anytime. Those who successfully complete the program earn a Department of Labor credential, which is recognized industry-wide and nationally.

“In today’s industrial job market, manufacturing workers must be tech-savvy and well-rounded,” said Tony Oran, Vice President, Festo Didactic North America. “Coding and software design knowledge used to be a skill set primarily associated with office work, but they are now an integral part of modern factory life.”

Oran said programs like MAP are essential. “By 2030, there will be approximately 2.1 million unfilled manufacturing jobs in the United States. Existing 2-year college and career technical programs will not be able to meet this demand. We need a different model.”

The cost of the program can be offset or reduced. Through Ohio’s TechCred program, when a company pays a current or future employee to earn an industry-recognized credential in a technology-focused program like MAP, the state will reimburse each employee up to $2,000 for Reimbursement up to $30,000 per employer.

Apprenticeships take place at Festo’s Regional Service Center, a 47-acre state-of-the-art logistics and manufacturing facility that provides automation technology throughout North America. The facility, which opened in 2015, is one of Mason’s 15 largest employers.

Launched in 2016, MAP won Ohio’s Best Business Award in the Workforce Development Program category four years later.

At Festool in Mason, a comprehensive Industry 4.0 experience center is also under construction. The new center and showroom aims to close the STEM skills gap by bringing together technical education, industrial applications and practical manufacturing under one roof.

The experience center will showcase the latest technologies from Festo, from networked cyber-physical stations to factory robots, assembly components, supply chain innovations and more. Educators, students and workers at all levels will be able to access and communicate with Festo experts on career programs, learning solutions and workforce development in industrial companies and classrooms, among others.

For Kenneth Bibb, the project worked.

“I tell my friends about MAP. I tell them, ‘You need to do this,'” he said.

details for tomorrow

Interested businesses, students and parents should contact Karen Oberer at karen.oberer@festo.com or visit festo-didactic.com/us-en for more information.

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