RI robot maker building a bridge over workforce skills gap

New England Institute of Technology’s (NEIT) NEW Associate Degree program in Advanced Manufacturing Technology has been developed in conjunction with companies like Yushin America to address a critical need for its workforce.

The new Advanced Manufacturing Technology degree, as part of NEIT’s Bachelor’s degree in Manufacturing Engineering Technology, is designed to assist employers in hiring individuals with the right skills. Yushin America in Cranston, RI, has hired more than 60 NEIT graduates of the Manufacturing Engineering Technology program.

From Providence Journal:

Tom Gilbride, an automation and robotic technician, teaches and aligns a robot at the Yushin plant in Cranston. Governor Raimondo last month spotlighted the company as an example of advanced manufacturing — the high-tech, high-end descendant of the manufacturing that sustained Rhode Island for centuries before yielding to overseas competition. The Providence Journal/Mary Murphy

Nicholas Salcedo, a robotics technician at Yushin, an advanced manufacturer in Cranston, gets a robotic arm ready to run specified actions before it is shipped to a company in Texas to be integrated into that company’s automation. The Providence Journal/Mary Murphy

 

Rhode Islanders may do a double-take when they hear Governor Raimondo talk about manufacturing as a key to reviving the economy and creating jobs.

After all, isn’t manufacturing all about the past? Doesn’t she see all those closed brick factories?  Didn’t manufacturing jobs peak in the 1940s, and haven’t they been sliding ever since?

But Raimondo is talking about a different type of manufacturing, called advanced manufacturing, that produces precise, engineered-to-order, high-end products for the medical-device, defense, aerospace and other industries.

This manufacturing is all about the future, and it pays middle-income wages.

But she pointed out they are not the low-skill manufacturing jobs of the past, but newer, advanced manufacturing jobs that require highly trained workers. Rhode Island should be primed to take advantage.

“We need the skills to fill the jobs that are our opportunity,” she said.

After Raimondo visited the Yushin America facility in Cranston last month to outline her plan to create jobs and revamp the state’s workforce training system, I talked with Michael Greenhalgh, operations director at Yushin.

He said Yushin, a unit of Yushin Precision Equipment Co. Ltd. of Japan, is completing a $2-million expansion and wants to hire 14 more workers. Some would be at a starting pay of $12 to $13 an hour. Others would be paid about $50,000 a year.

But, Greenhalgh can’t find workers with the skills he needs.

But the real answer is more qualified candidates coming out of the vocational and technical schools or colleges, or better training of workers who are in transition from declining industries.

It’s a good idea, but I don’t think Rhode Island can wait years for a regional solution.

State leaders should already be working to figure out how to close the skills gap.

The state has fallen behind its neighbors in advanced manufacturing. But with the right focus and commitment, there’s no reason it can’t catch up and overtake its competitors.

Manufacturing, an old industry that’s retooling for the future, deserves a solid second look.

Source: John Kostrzewa: R.I. robot maker building a bridge over workforce skills gap – News – providencejournal.com – Providence, RI

 

If you would like additional information about any of New England Tech’s over 40 Associate, Bachelor’s, online and Master’s degree programs, including Advanced Manufacturing Technology.

More Information | Apply Now

Contact the Admissions Office at 800-736-7744 or email NEITAdmissions@neit.edu 

PBN Recognizes NEIT with its Collaboration in Manufacturing Award

:  From left: PBN Publisher, Roger Bergenheim;  NEIT’s Vice President for Corporate Education and Training, Steven H. Kitchin;  Facilities Manager for Electric Boat at Quonset Point, Sean Davies;  and Director of Polaris MEP and event co-sponsor, Christian Cowan.

From left: PBN Publisher, Roger Bergenheim; NEIT’s Vice President for Corporate Education and Training, Steven H. Kitchin; Facilities Manager for Electric Boat at Quonset Point, Sean Davies; and Director of Polaris MEP and event co-sponsor, Christian Cowan.

New England Institute of Technology (NEIT) was recognized by Providence Business News (PBN) for its development and implementation of the Shipbuilding/Advanced Manufacturing Institute known as SAMI. In answer to Rhode Island’s labor market needs for skilled workers in these industries, SAMI’s goal is to identify and train Rhode Island’s unemployed for high paying jobs as welders and machinists and to serve as a link for these new workers and local employers. Click here to read PBN’s recently published article on SAMI and NEIT’s recent award entitled, “Working Together Reaps Rewards.”

PBN chooses Manufacturing Award winners

Thank you, Providence Business News for recognizing New England Tech with this Manufacturing Award.  And congratulations to all of this years other winners.

From Providence Business News:

Todd Blount, president and CEO of Blount Fine Foods Corp., the maker of fine soups, sauces, entrees and sides based in Fall River and Warren, has been named winner in the Leadership & Strategy category of Providence Business News’ second annual Manufacturing Awards program.

Blount is among 12 winning individuals and companies selected from dozens of applications and that will be recognized at a dinner to be held Thursday, April 2 from 5:30-8 p.m., at Bryant University’s Bello Center.

Other winners in this second year of the Manufacturing Awards are:

  • Hope Valley Industries, for Overall Excellence, more than 150 employees
  • Bouckaert Industrial Textiles Inc., Overall Excellence, 50-150 employees
  • SES America Inc., Overall Excellence, fewer than 50 employees
  • New England Institute of Technology, Collaboration in Manufacturing
  • Ava Anderson Non Toxic, Emerging Manufacturer
  • Wardwell Braiding Co., Exporting Excellence
  • Petro-Cycle Solutions LLC, Green Manufacturing Excellence
  • Hayward Industries, Lean Manufacturing Excellence
  • Quick Fitting Inc., Product Innovation & Design
  • Toray Plastics (America) Inc., Safety Performance & Records Excellence
  • Edesia, Workforce Development & Productivity Excellence

Click the Link to read the entire Providence Business News story via PBN chooses Manufacturing Award winners, Blount tops for leadership – Providence Business News.

Finding the Right Employees

Great Blog story from VIBCO Industrial Vibrators.

Why VIBCO Supports the SAMI Program

by Mike Emiliani | Feb 03, 2015

Finding great manufacturing employees is hard work. Finding great manufacturing employees who fit, and who are ready, willing and able to be part of a high-functioning lean culture is even harder.

Thank goodness for our excellent partnership with the New England Institute of Technology’s SAMI program

Last Friday morning, VIBCO’s CMO Linda Kleineberg, and Machine Operator Antone Cherry, spoke to the Governor’s Workforce Board of Rhode Island to share their experiences with the SAMI (Shipbuilding/Marine Trades and Advance Manufacturing Institute) program. Their primary message was that SAMI provides exceptional value for both employers and unemployed/underemployed workers, and that their success is driven by the SAMI staff’s genuine desire to help Rhode Islanders find meaningful work.

The SAMI program (short for Shipbuilding/Marine Trades and Advanced Manufacturing Institute) is a program operated by the New England Institute of Technology and funded by the U.S. Department of Labor. The program began in February 2013 with a 2.5 million dollar Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Training (TAACCCT) grant from the United States Department of Labor. The program’s focus is to train unemployed Rhode Islanders and provide them with the trade skills RI employers currently need.  Their mission is to develop a “pipeline of skilled workers for Rhode Island’s marine and manufacturing industries” with a focus on welders and machinists.

Through partnerships with employers around the state of Rhode Island, SAMI has played an important role in helping Rhode Island manufacturing businesses find needed talent for their operations, including VIBCO’s.

Antone, a VIBCO employee and SAMI Graduate, hired through a work immersion experience funded by the Governor’s Workforce Board of RI, stood in front of the Board and the audience to share his story. He explained how participating in the SAMI Program has changed his life. Antone had driven a fork lift for 10 years before SAMI and VIBCO. Long hours at multiple jobs meant that he was not able to be present for his family. He shared that his new career in machining would allow him to support his family and spend more time with his children – a win-win-win for everyone.

Click Here to continue reading via VIBCO Industrial Vibrators Blog.

It Must Be Fate!

Mason Brouillette, left, with SAMI lead instructor, Todd Sposato

Mason Brouillette, left, with SAMI lead instructor, Todd Sposato

Mason Brouillette is like many 19 year old young men trying to determine their future career.  He knew he wanted to learn a hands-on occupation but was uncertain which career to pursue.  Then his mother, Jane, told him about a program she heard about where he could learn the advanced manufacturing skills needed to be a machinist. There was a history of machinists in their family because Mason’s Uncle Steven was working towards his apprenticeship 27 years ago. Unfortunately, Mason’s uncle never completed his apprenticeship because he was killed in a car accident in 1985. Mason decided to follow in his dear Uncle Steven’s footsteps.

Mason attended the advanced manufacturing orientation at NEIT’s Shipbuilding/Advanced Manufacturing Institute, SAMI. He was accepted into the program and began classes in July with lead instructor, Todd Sposato. Mason was a quick learner, and after several weeks of hands-on classes in the SAMI lab, Mason was ready to continue his training with a local manufacturing company, Colonial Tool, in Coventry, RI. Soon after his training began, the company offered Mason a permanent position.  Mason along with his instructors and family were thrilled.

Machinists use their own set of tools on the job so Mason asked his grandmother if he could use his Uncle Steven’s tools. She gladly turned the toolbox over to Mason which had been stored in her basement for the past 27 years. Mason brought the toolbox to class and asked Mr. Sposato to help him restore the toolbox and re-calibrate the tools. Looking through the toolbox, they found his uncle’s apprenticeship log book.  When Mr. Sposato read the log, he realized that he knew Steven back in the 1980’s when they were both completing their apprenticeships.  As Sposato stated, “Mason and I felt an instant connection.”  He told Mason that he bought supplies at a company in Pawcatuck, Connecticut, where his uncle worked and the two of them would chat. Then one day when Mr. Sposato returned to the supply company, Steven was no longer working there. He never knew what happened to him, until now.

When Mason told his grandmother that Mr. Sposato knew his uncle, she immediately called Jane who stated, “That night when I received a call from my mother, and she told me Mr. Sposato read Steven’s apprenticeship log book and realized that he knew him. The sound in my mother‘s voice was amazing.  She sounded alive again.”  Mason’s mother later sent the following message to Mr. Sposato, “This is not a coincidence! This was meant to be! The SAMI program is not only a wonderful opportunity for Mason, but it has meant much more to us as a family. I can’t thank you enough for what you did for Mason.  The entire SAMI process has been such a positive family changing experience.”

SAMI Receives Its Second $2.5 Million Grant

New England Tech has received its second $2.5 million Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) Grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to expand programs currently offered through the college’s Shipbuilding/Marine Advanced Manufacturing Institute (SAMI), located at the college’s Post Road campus. This additional $2.5 million will allow SAMI to offer new programs that will include Shipfitting, Pipe Welding, Sheetmetal, Pipefitting and Robotics.

SAMINEIT’s initial $2.5 million TAACCCT Grant awarded in March, 2013, is slated to train 400 SAMI participants with the technical skills needed in the shipbuilding/marine and advanced manufacturing industries Now, an additional 200 Rhode Island residents who are either unemployed, underemployed, TAA-eligible, veterans, and/or recent high school graduates will be served through the increased funding. More than 140 individuals are currently enrolled or have completed SAMI’s welding or advanced manufacturing programs, and the majority of program completers have been hired by SAMI employer partners.

 

NEIT gets 2nd federal grant of $2.5 million for shipbuilding institute

From The Providence Journal:

The New England Institute of Technology has won a second $2.5-million federal grant to expand the shipbuilding and advanced manufacturing institute it created when it won its earlier grant in 2013.

Steven H. Kitchin, vice president of corporate education and training at New England Institute of Technology.

New England Tech will add five programs to its two core training programs at the institute, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Those new programs will offer shipfitting, pipe welding, sheetmetal, pipefitting and robotics classes to 200 Rhode Island students.

U.S. Sen. Jack Reed hailed the grant Sunday night as the kind of business-education partnership Rhode Island needs to get people back to work and improve the economy.

New England Tech is one of 71 grant recipients the federal labor department is expected to announce Monday, with $450 million in grants to community colleges around the country.

This is the final round of a four-year program to invest nearly $2 billion in a career and training initiative, the department announced. The idea behind the federal stimulus money is to expand the ability of community colleges — and those like New England Tech that offer two-year associate’s degrees — to partner with local employers and create training programs to prepare people for jobs in high-demand careers.

The U.S. Department of Labor has invested nearly $11 million in Rhode Island over the last four years — “part of a long-term commitment to ensure that workers have access to training for the specific skills employers need to stay competitive in the global economy,” U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez said in a statement.

Reached earlier Sunday night by telephone before Reed’s office had confirmed the grant, a New England Tech vice president said he welcomed the prospect of additional federal funds.

“The college is obviously thrilled by the support that the U.S. Department of Labor is providing to our college to continue New England Tech’s 75-year history of preparing people for positions in the labor market,” said Steven H. Kitchin, vice president of corporate education and training at the Warwick institute.

Since New England Tech won its first $2.5-million grant in March 2013 for its shipbuilding and advanced manufacturing institute, the school has also raised $440,000 in funding for the program from the Governor’s Workforce Board and $50,000 from the Rhode Island Foundation, Kitchin said.

The shipbuilding institute currently has close to 140 participants working to earn certificates of completion, Kitchin said. The curriculum is designed for students to work in one of two labs — a manufacturing lab, which prepares them for work in basic machine operations and advanced computer numerical control, and a welding lab.

A federal project officer recently visited the program to monitor its progress, Kitchin said.

“We received high praise for our linkages with the private sector, that our curriculum was indeed focused, and they were quite pleased with the labs we had created,” he said.

The federal labor department hoped its funding would encourage colleges to find ways to sustain training programs after the federal funding runs out, Kitchin said. He said one way to do that is to turn the programs from certificate programs into degree-granting programs. New England Tech expects to announce soon that it will be adding certain degree-granting programs, he said.

The shipbuilding institute has a flexible admissions policy. Anyone interested in applying can find more information online at samiri.org.

via N.E. Tech gets 2nd federal grant of $2.5 million for shipbuilding institute | Business Notes – Business | providencejournal.com | The Providence Journal.

NEIT VP talks Jobs, Jobs, Jobs with Dan Yorke’s State of Mind

New England Institute of Technology’s Vice President of Corporate Education and Training sat down with Dan Yorke recently for a candid conversation about “Jobs, Jobs, Jobs” in Rhode Island.

“There are opportunities in Rhode Island and they are all related to skills.  Twenty to twenty-seven jobs that have the most need in Rhode Island require an Associate degree or better” said Kitchin.

For more information about any of New England Tech’s over 40 Associate, Bachelor’s, Master’s and Online degree programs, call Admissions at 800-736-7744 ext. 3357 or email NEITAdmissions@neit.edu or for additional information about the SAMI program, call 800-736-7744 ext. 3700 or email info@samiri.org.

NEIT Receives Its Second $2.5 Million TAACCCT Grant

Funding to be Used to Train Unemployed Rhode Islanders

New England Institute of Technology (NEIT) announced it has been awarded its second $2.5 million Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) Grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to expand the programs currently being offered to unemployed Rhode Island residents through the college’s Shipbuilding/Marine Advanced Manufacturing Institute known as SAMI.

TAACCCT provides community colleges and other institutions of higher education with funds to expand and improve their ability to deliver education and career training programs that can be completed in two years or less and prepare eligible participants for employment in high-wage, high-skill , in-demand occupations. New England Tech is the only college in Rhode Island to receive this latest TAACCCT award.

This additional $2.5 million will afford NEIT the opportunity to offer five new programs through SAMI that will include Shipfitting, Pipe Welding, Sheetmetal, Pipefitting and Robotics. NEIT’s employer partners have identified these occupations as having multiple opportunities in the current labor market. They also see the need for these skills trending upward over the next three years. More than 200 Rhode Island residents who are either unemployed, underemployed, TAA-eligible, veterans, and/or recent high school graduates will be served through the increased funding.

NEIT received its initial $2.5 million TAACCCT Grant in March, 2013, which was slated to train 400 SAMI participants with the technical skills needed in the shipbuilding/marine and advanced manufacturing industries throughout the three year life of the grant. In addition to the federal grants, New England Tech was awarded $440,000 from the Governor’s Workforce Board and $50,000 from the Rhode Island Foundation to be used for SAMI programs.

SAMI participants also receive supportive services through case management, work readiness activities, intense hands-on industry based job skills and evaluation activities, OSHA 10 safety certification, and employment placement assistance. Today, nearly 140 individuals are currently enrolled or have completed SAMI’s welding or advanced manufacturing programs. The majority of program completers have been hired by SAMI employer partners that include General Dynamics/Electric Boat, Senesco Marine, Blount Boats, Guill Tool & Engineering, Swissline Precision Manufacturing, RI Carbide, Pilgrim Screw, Aerotek Staffing Agency, American Welding,  Rice Machinery, and Little Rhody Machine and Repair.

Steven H. Kitchin, Vice President, Corporate Education and Training at New England Institute of Technology, stated “Over the last four years, the U.S. Department of Labor has invested nearly $11 million in Rhode Island. New England Tech is proud to do its part in putting Rhode Islanders back to work by providing labor market driven training. These participants will acquire the technical skills needed to fill high demand jobs. To keep a pipeline of skilled workers available, New England Tech plans to develop degree granting programs for these occupations.”

To learn more about the SAMI program and eligibility requirements, call 401-739-5000, ext. 3700 or visit www.samiri.org.

Under the leadership of President Richard I. Gouse, New England Institute of Technology is a private, non-profit technical college with an enrollment of more than 3,000 students and is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc. Founded in 1940, the college offers associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and on-line degrees in more than 40 technical and business programs. Each degree program is taught with a proven combination of technical expertise coupled with hands-on learning. For more information, call 800-736-7744 or visit www.neit.edu. Follow news of the college on Facebook, Twitter, You Tube, Instagram, and Tumblr.

Cranston Woman Breaks the Mold at Welding School – Business | Cranston, Rhode Island Patch

Kierstyn Ebbeling just completed an eight-week training welding training program that helps unemployed Rhode islanders connect with jobs.

From the Cranston Patch:

Wearing a helmet and wielding a fiery torch is in all in a day’s work now for a Cranston woman.

Kierstyn Ebbeling has just completed an eight-week training welding training program that helps unemployed Rhode islanders connect with jobs in the marine trades and manufacturing industries.

The Shipbuilding/Marine and Advanced Manufacturing Institute (SAMI) at the New England Institute of Technology (NEIT) recruits, screens and trains individuals for high demand careers in these industries at no cost to participants.

“I thought of the SAMI program because I was at a point in my life where I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I had always been interested in mechanical things, but, being a small-framed woman, my options were obviously limited,” Ebbeling said.

“Through the SAMI program, I was able to meet the instructors and they opened me up to the world of welding, which I had tried in high school and I really enjoyed, but had never thought of as a career path,” she said.

According to NEIT, 90 percent of SAMI graduates are already working for companies including Blount Boats, Senesco Marine and Electric Boat, which hired Ebbeling after graduation. She cannot believe how far she has come since beginning the training program in March.

“I love welding. I could do it all day. I could watch YouTube videos about it all day. It’s something, you know, to be able to go and work at Electric Board and have them set me up welding right away. That is like a dream come true,” she said.

Ebbeling even stars in a video that is being used to promote the SAMI program to potential students.

“Some of the first women that you saw welding were the Wendy Welders of World War II, and those welders were working on marine crafts. Wendy the Welder was a ship builder. I’m going to end up going into shipbuilding and it’s just kind of cool having that connection between the present and the past,” she explained.

NEIT staff worked closely with local companies to develop the curriculum, training programs and laboratories that will give Rhode Islanders the skills needed to be successful in the job market.

“It’s a terrific example of how Rhode Island’s private educational institutions of higher education can help the state in its effort for economic development,” said NEIT President Dr. Richard Gouse. “New England Tech is going to train those employees with those specific skills. So from that point of view, it’s a win for everybody and an important thing for Rhode Island.”

Funding for the program came from the U.S. Department of Labor, the Governor’s Workforce Board and the Rhode Island Foundation.

“We saw this as an opportunity to link unemployed and under-employed Rhode Islanders with local employers, leverage the training resources of a local institution, and highlight the importance of these industries to our community,” said Foundation president and CEO Neil Steinberg.

The Foundation’s $50,000 grant for SAMI grew out of its Make It Happen RI initiative, which develops proposals that will jumpstart the state’s economy.

“This funding achieves two goals. Helping companies grow by closing the so-called skills gap and getting people trained quickly so they can get back to work and into solid, good-paying jobs,” Steinberg said.

Cranston Woman Breaks the Mold at Welding School – Business | Cranston, Rhode Island Patch.