Project MFG™ Accelerates Students’ Career Passion

On December 3-5, 2019, Project MFG™: Next Generation Manufacturing™ Challenge from the United States Department of Defense took place at the Sierra College Gene Haas Center for Advanced Manufacturing by Design in Rocklin.  Project MFG™ holds competitions across the country to address the need for a skilled engineering and shop floor manufacturing workforce in the United States to compete in global markets. Kennedy High School, Rocklin High School and Yuba College teams competed in the challenge to produce a complex part made of aluminum.

For the first time in the competition’s history, a high school team won. Not only did Kennedy High School out-perform the other competitors, the Sacramento team did it with only three rather than the usual four students participating. The Kennedy team will go on to the next level and a chance to participate in the national competition at the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) in Chicago, September 2020.

… instills confidence in their ability to perform at the highest industrial base standards when it counts for a company.

Adele Ratcliff, Director, Industrial Base Analysis and Sustainment Program, Office of Industrial Policy, within the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Industrial Policy, presented the awards and cash prizes. “It’s exciting to witness America’s Next Great Generation compete under pressure against world class standards,” said Ratcliff. “It brings out the best in them and instills confidence in their ability to perform at the highest industrial base standards when it counts for a company.”  

Project MFG™ is designed to allow the individual, the instructor and the school to benchmark themselves against the best, explained Ratcliff.  “Project MFG™ not only pushes their skills, but pushes their thinking and approach to be more advanced in a teamed approach,” said Ratcliff. The competition was developed to ignite interest in Advanced Manufacturing careers to address the deficit in trade skill talent that is not keeping pace with the current resurgence of U.S. manufacturing and prepare students for manufacturing jobs that require people to work collaboratively across the manufacturing floor.

Sierra College was honored to host the United States Department of Defense competition, according to Amy Schulz, Ph.D., Dean of Career, Continuing and Technical Education. “With the support of the Haas Education Foundation, Sierra College has built an Advanced Manufacturing lab with industry standard CNC tools as a regional resource,” said Schulz. “To increase awareness of meaningful careers in manufacturing, Sierra College was pleased to welcome the national Project MFG™ to our Rocklin campus. With the goal of preparing our local workforce with manufacturing skills, the CNC lab is also used for industry employee training and Sierra College recently developed Advanced Manufacturing courses and introduced a new certificate.” 

Industry partners from Lincoln Electric®, Haas Automation Inc. and ZEISS as well as the team from the Department of Defense were on site during the competition to provide technical support for the students who had access to Sierra College’s Haas CNC and welding tools, explained Tom Tholen, Project MFG™. “At this friendly competition, I witnessed more collaboration between the teams than usual and was impressed by the students’ professionalism,” said Tholen. “These students are on the fast track to satisfying Advanced Manufacturing careers with starting salaries of $70,000+ where they can make an impact on the world.”

This was the first time that his students had participated in the challenge, explained Dan Frank, Advanced Manufacturing Instructor, Rocklin High School. “I just wanted them to have fun applying their skills in a new environment,” said Frank. “Working in the Sierra College Advanced Manufacturing lab took them out of their comfort zone and challenged their team work and technical skills. Ultimately, participating builds their confidence and makes careers in this industry more intriguing.”

Our greatest challenges that require a product solution–from climate change to medicine to national security– require manufacturing to bring that to reality.

The Department of Defense’s Ratcliff encouraged students to pursue manufacturing careers where their skills can make a difference. “Our greatest challenges that require a product solution–from climate change to medicine to national security– require manufacturing to bring that to reality,” said Ratcliff. 

“There is more than one way to serve your country—being in manufacturing provides economic prosperity for our country as well as the individual.  And a strong manufacturing economy underpins our national security. Individuals entering the manufacturing profession will have a career path that will continue to advance and challenge them professionally as well as providing an ability to live almost anywhere in the world with this profession.”   

Harris & Bruno Attracts Students to Manufacturing Careers

As part of the ongoing effort to connect students to employers so they can see the opportunities in the field of Advanced Manufacturing, Harris & Bruno International employees visited Roseville High School on November 15, according to Courtney Camp, Human Resources Manager, Harris & Bruno International.

“It’s very rewarding to see that we as an employer are making an impact with students and giving them insight into our industry that they might not otherwise have,” said Camp. “Working in manufacturing isn’t necessarily something today’s students are going to consider as a viable career path but when you show them what we do and how interesting the work is, we can help change that. Building tomorrow’s pipeline is so important to our industry and these are excellent opportunities to help spark passion for what we do.”

The company focused on making students aware of the wide range of career opportunities in manufacturing and the different avenues that can be taken to get there, explained Courtney Camp, Human Resources Manager, Harris & Bruno International. “For example, David Sarver explained specifically what he does as a Mechanical Engineer at Harris & Bruno and the path he took to get to his current position,” said Camp. “We also emphasized that while a four-year college is an excellent path for some students, it’s not the only option that results in rewarding and lucrative careers. Other options are community colleges, trade schools, apprenticeship programs and on-the-job training.”

Employees also showed real world projects made at the company’s Roseville facility, according to Camp. “Seeing how a part is designed and then manufactured seemed to spark students’ interests and prompted the most in depth questions,” said Camp. “The other thing that they were really curious about is what we, as employers, look for when hiring and how they can start setting themselves up now for career success later.”

Harris & Bruno International has partnered with educators in many ways throughout the years and has benefited from those collaborations, reports Camp. “My advice to employers would be to be open to jumping in and supporting the community programs at both the high school and college levels,” said Camp. “Some ways to do this are participating on an advisory board to help guide the curriculum, speak at schools to help educate students on opportunities within the industry, and provide tours of your facility to students so they can see first-hand the awesome things that are happening. We have hired some of our best workers through these avenues; I’ve had new employees tell me that they toured our facility in high school and how interested it made them to pursue a career in manufacturing.”

Camp suggests that both Jeff Briggs, Regional Director North Region, Advanced Manufacturing, California Community Colleges (Edu2Mfg) and the Sacramento Valley Manufacturing Initiative (SVMI ) are excellent resources for educators. “My advice is to partner with the industry to help tailor your curriculum to employer needs,” said Camp. “Relevant skills will really help your students as they start searching for employment opportunities. Also, make sure that you are following up, staying in communication and being clear about the best ways for employers to help support your programs.”

For assistance connecting with schools and employers in your area, contact Jeff Briggs, Edu2Mfg, at 916-316-8100 or JeffBriggs(at)sierracollege.edu.

North Region Advanced Manufacturing Work Plan

Work plan objectives for Edu2Mfg in 2019-2020 include:

  • Increase number of students enrolled in manufacturing related courses 
  • Increase students and businesses participating in student competitions, project-based learning opportunities and work-based learning opportunities
  • Illustrate new education and career pathways in manufacturing
  • Host a workshop for curriculum exchange between all K-16 instructors and industry partners
  • Support onboarding for new faculty members coming directly from industry
  • Assist industry partners in leveraging ETP and college resources to train incumbent workers
  • Encourage industry-recognized third party accreditation and assessments
  • Assist with apprenticeship programs and/or standards
  • Host regional advisory meeting 
  • Create online repository for information on active high school and college programs
  • Inform colleges of emerging technologies and skills requirements
  • Provide assistance to host one sector-focused summit
  • Assist in updating or creating courses as a result of curriculum recommendations

November Education to Manufacturing Newsletter

The Education to Manufacturing November newsletter inlcuded informtion on:

Advanced Manufacturing in Agriculture Regional Advisory Meeting

Jeff Briggs appointed as the New Regional Director for North Region

Train the Trainer Sessions in January and February

To subscribe to the Advanced Manufacturing newsletter for the north region, hosted by Sierra College, for California Community College Chancellor’s Office, sign up here: Subscribe to Edu2Mfg newsletter

Agriculture & Advanced Manufacturing Joint Meeting

A Regional Advisory Meeting focused on Advanced Manufacturing in Food and Agriculture Industries will be held on Friday, November 22 from 8:30 AM – 12:00 PM at the Woodland Community Center, 2001 East St, Woodland, CA 95776. RSVP HERE

Participate in preparing a robust pipeline of highly qualified workers to meet labor market demand in Advanced Manufacturing in Food and Agriculture by contributing advice on key skills and competencies. The greater Sacramento Region is an epicenter for innovation in agricultural advancement and the two sectors are a major priority for the region’s economic prosperity strategy. Employers and educators are collaborating to meet labor market needs for these high-skill, high-wage occupations.

For more information, contact Emma Koefoed at Emma.koefoed(at)valleyvision.org or 916-462-0687.

October Advanced Manufacturing Education News

In October, the Education to Manufacturing newsletter covered: Design to Part Train the Trainer, Industry to School Material Donations, Benefits of Train the Trainer Sessions Offered by Advanced Manufacturing, North Region (Edu2Mfg) with the Sacramento Valley Manufacturers Initiative and Rocklin Mini Maker Faire at Sierra College Introduces Community to Manufacturing.

To subscribe to the Advanced Manufacturing newsletter for the north region, hosted by Sierra College, for California Community College Chancellor’s Office, sign up here: Subscribe to Edu2Mfg newsletter

Manufacturing Teacher Training has Positive Impact

Colin Denney, instructor with the Innovative Design and Engineering Academy at Pleasant Grove High School, previously attended the manufacturing teacher training organized by Steve Dicus for California Community Colleges Advanced Manufacturing, North Region (Edu2Mfg) with the Sacramento Valley Manufacturers Initiative (SVMI).

I learned things that are going directly into the classroom

“I learned things that are going directly into the classroom and students are already benefiting from them. I have also expanded my network; I have kept in touch with a few of the other educators that I met at the training and we have already been collaborating on assignments, assessments and even new machine and tool purchases.”

The next training is November 2. Read about previous Train the Trainer sessions at the SVMI website.

Educator Training Offered on Design to Part

Three sessions of Design to Part Training will be held on November 2, 2019 between 8:30 am and 2 pm in Rocklin. Dan Frank, Manufacturing and Engineering Instructor, Rocklin High School, will be teaching the workshops. The program is being co-sponsored by Sacramento Valley Manufacturers Initiative (SVMI) and California Community Colleges Advanced Manufacturing, North Region (Edu2Mfg).

  • Session 1 — Introduction to Design – Design Intent and Design for Manufacturability. Working with Fusion 360, you’ll download a functional mill vise, and then add stock into the vise. There will be discussion on the function of the part you will draw, its features and how to organize and label the data in Fusions ‘browser.’ You will explore the iterative process between designing and manufacturability of the part. Teach to CAD standards.
  • Session 2 — How to Approach CAM – Review session 1 and bring part from session 1 into the vise. CAM set-up and a suggested order of operations. Teach to CAM standards.
  • Session 3 — Make the parts on the CNC Mill

Each session is $40 or all three are $100 and include lunch, snacks and workshop materials. Register here with Credit Card or PayPal. Or if paying with check or PO, register by calling Steve Dicus, Edu2Mfg, at 916-276-9520. Make PO to Valley Vision, 3400 3rd Ave, Sacramento, CA 95817.

Manufacturers Donate Surplus to Schools Preparing Future Employees

To support manufacturing classes, several companies have donated equipment, tooling and scrap material to colleges and high schools in the region, explained Mike Bell, Regional Director, Advanced Manufacturing, North Region, California Community Colleges (Edu2Mfg).

RobbJack has donated tooling in the past to Sierra College, Rocklin High School, JFK High School and Sacramento State University,” said Bell.

Ceratizit has also donated tooling to Sierra College and is working with other schools.

Tri Tool Inc. recently donated 15,000 pounds of remnant aluminum that is being stored at the Charles A. Jones Career and Education Center and JFK High School has already received 1500 pounds.”

Contact Mike Bell if you have donations to offer or if your education program is interested in being alerted when material becomes available by phone 916-432-0741 or email mike(at)edu2mfg.org.