U.S. DOE Partners With Tenn. College System to Train Veterans For 3D Printing & Manufacturing Jobs

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The U.S. Department of Energy and Oak Ridge Associated Universities in Tennessee are working together to prepare active duty U.S. military and veterans for advanced manufacturing jobs in industries such as additive manufacturing.

A new training program in East Tennessee is helping veterans find advanced manufacturing jobs. WBIR photo

A new training program in East Tennessee is helping veterans find advanced manufacturing jobs. WBIR photo

Through the partnership, eligible active duty U.S. military and veterans receive hands-on advanced manufacturing training through ORAU’s Advanced Manufacturing Workforce Development Program.

The AMWD Program is a one-year certification program. Those in the program take night classes at Pellissippi State Community College in courses such as 3D additive manufacturing, engineering technology and composite materials. Throughout the duration of the program, participants also get 25-hours per week of on-the-job advanced manufacturing training at local manufacturing businesses.

After they complete their coursework, veterans also get assistance finding a place to use their newly acquired skills.

“Right now there are about 10 thousand active duty military members that are leaving the military every month,” said Lonnie Love, a group leader at The AMWD Program told local NBC affiliate WBIR. “What we want to do is kind of tap off some of those that really have aptitude for manufacturing, give them some skills, and help them find great careers in the manufacturing industry.”

Some of the things people in the program will learn in the classroom and during their internships include how to design for advanced manufacturing needs, fabrication techniques and how to use 3D printers. Past participants said they are amazed by what they are taught in the program.

“They are right now trying to print a car,” DeVore said. “Who in their wildest dreams would have thought you could three-dimensionally print a car?”

Participants in the program receive free tuition, fees and books, as well as a weekly stipend and housing allowance. According to the ORAU AMWD website, this is in addition to any GI Bill monies for which the veteran is eligible. The program is currently only in East Tennessee.

According to WBIR, those who oversee the program hope it spreads to other schools across the country, so that it can reach more active duty military and veterans.  Applications for the program were accepted up until yesterday, Tuesday (Aug. 19). Classes begin Aug. 25 and end July 21, 2015. U.S. First Robotics participants, undergraduate students and those with associates and bachelor’s in science were also eligible for the program.

Programs such as this could have huge implications on the jobs market here in the United States.  Veterans oftentimes find themselves out of the military, and unable to find a job which suits them.  Such programs give them the ability to learn new skills, and start a new career as a civilian.  Let’s hear your thoughts on programs like this one in the 3D printing education for veterans forum thread on 3DPB.com.

Students at a AMWD job fair. ORAU photo.

Students at a AMWD job fair. ORAU photo.

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