Engineer Teaching Apprentices To Use Computerized LatheNorthwest Industrial Resource Center (NWIRC) is helping to keep the talent of regional Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) students local AND assisting  regional manufacturers to advance their technology-related initiatives leading to increased sales and retained or created jobs.

The NWIRC’s Advanced Manufacturing Apprentice Program actively recruits STEM university, college, and technical school students who are interested in working with manufacturers in Northwest, PA. We attend college career and internship fairs in Western PA and network with faculty, school departments, and career placement centers in order to qualify students to meet our manufacturers’ technology development project-based needs. Advanced manufacturing apprentices offer a great multi-purpose solution to help narrow the growing national skills gap and offer our client manufacturers opportunities to 1) improve their technology development, 2) improve efficiency and effectiveness, and 3) mentor and evaluate future skilled leaders. Our program connects manufacturers with qualified students to work on specific projects that will have significant business impact for the manufacturer and they may also benefit from wage savings of up to 40% of the apprentice’s base pay for a qualifying three to six month project.

Many manufacturers lack the resources to cultivate relationships with regional schools and vet qualified students, so NWIRC’s Manufacturing Technology Engineer (Michael Griffith) and Program Coordinator (Gretchen Reinard) assist with the placement process from identifying a project to selecting a candidate. Examples of actual qualifying projects include: 1) A Materials Engineering student developing a process for evaluating new product materials, 2) A Quality Engineering apprentice developing a “test project” auditing their ISO documentation, and 3) An Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) Engineering student assisting with compliance of the new OSHA Globally Harmonized (GHS) System of Classification, Labeling and Hazard Communication regulations.

The NWIRC team often helps manufacturers identify and/or evaluate potential projects that might benefit from the work of an apprentice and assists in developing project-specific job descriptions. In some cases, companies are looking to continue employment of the apprentice once the project work is complete. The goal of this program is to show regional students the viable and exciting manufacturing positions that are available in their own backyard and, at the same time, help manufacturers advance the growth of their business.

More manufacturers assessing a potential project for an apprentice, see the benefit for your company here.

If you are a college, university, or technical school STEM student, click here to see open positions and to submit an application.