Manufacturing Training in Demand: CNC Machinist, Welding, 3D Printing Technology

Posted By: Chad Schron, Senior Director, Tooling U-SME on June 18, 2020

cnc machinist

Even though we are still in the midst of responding to coronavirus, manufacturers are starting to ramp up production again.

According to SME’s COVID-19 Future Outlook Study, more than nine-in-ten respondents indicated their company was still operating in some capacity, with half of companies still fully active. There is lots of optimism, with over two-thirds of manufacturers expecting the industry to recover to pre-COVID-19 production levels by the end of 2020.

The skills gap remains front and center, however, and this will only get worse as supply chains move back to the U.S. The need for workers to be proficient in technologies related to Industry 4.0 such as 3D printing technology also creates workforce challenges.

At Tooling U-SME, we feel the momentum as companies are investing in manufacturing training. From onboarding for surge hiring to cross-training, manufacturers are focused on strengthening their teams to adapt to the current environment and prepare for what is to come.

Three Main Manufacturing Training Areas

When it comes to manufacturing training, there are three areas where Tooling U-SME is seeing the most need: CNC Machinist Training, Welding Training, and 3D Printing Training.

1) CNC Machinist Training

Manufacturers tell us they need help training new hires on how to become a Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machinist. They also are looking for machining courses for incumbent workers to build CNC machining skills.

Pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programs, typically in conjunction with local schools, can build the pipeline for CNC machinists.

For incumbent workers, we have had success working with our customers to build customized CNC machining training programs like the one for Midwest manufacturer Midmark that we talk about in our recent blog post, “Why Manufacturers are Investing in CNC Machinist Training Programs.”

2) Welding Training

Welders continue to be in high demand. Not only is there a need to recruit and train those coming into the field, but companies also need advanced welding training for incumbent workers.

New materials, new processes, new equipment . . .welding is not the same as it was for past generations. Today, welding is a high-tech skill, and welding courses and welding certifications are reflecting that.

We talk about new approaches to welding training in our blog post, “Meeting Demand for Skilled Welders Requires New Training Solutions.”

Through a partnership, Tooling U-SME and Lincoln Electric provide welding curriculum to welding instructors, educational institutions and companies. The extensive program includes online welding courses, lab activities, demo videos, workforce assessments, instructor guides and more.

3) 3D Printing Training

We also see that 3D Printing training is at the top of the manufacturing training list. 3D printing technology has been a valuable resource during the pandemic. Essential types of equipment, such as ventilators, nasal swabs, and face shields, have been developed using this additive manufacturing technology. Learn more about that effort: “COVID-19 Reinforces Potential for Additive Manufacturing with 3D Printing, Training Urgently Needed.”

Even before coronavirus, companies had been increasing their training for Industry 4.0 skills like additive manufacturing, reinforcing its potential. Job roles are changing, which provides added opportunity for employees who are excited to learn about the new technologies.

Thanks to two Department of Defense workforce and education grants, we have been able to build our curriculum for 3D printing/additive manufacturing and other technologies. Already we are seeing a lot of interest from both manufacturers and educational institutions nationwide.

Resources Available for In-demand Jobs

There are many training resources to help you ramp up CNC machinist training, welding training and 3D printing/additive manufacturing training. From Tooling U-SME, these include:

Online Classes, Instructor-Led Training, stackable certifications, Turnkey Training, Learning Services, and more.

Despite the challenging times, it’s important to keep moving forward. Building on your existing manufacturing training programs for these in-demand job roles for CNC machinists, welding and additive manufacturing will ensure that you continue to deliver customer satisfaction while motivating your employees.

Call us with questions!

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