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Industry-Approved Training on

Category: Smartforce By: Catherine Ross, Director of Education, Smartforce Development, AMT - The Association for Manufacturing Technology Sep 27, 2021

“The biggest challenge we see is that technology advancements are outpacing workforce capabilities, and manufacturers don't have enough employees with the skills and capabilities they need,” says Lisa Masciantonio, chief workforce officer at the Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing (ARM) Institute.

“For example, we've spoken with major aerospace contractors who have 12,000 job openings at any given time, and not having the employees they need can diminish their overall productivity. It is just as challenging for a smaller manufacturer who has 12 job openings that it can’t fill.”

Masciantonio and Suzy Teele, head of marketing and communications at the ARM Institute, spent the past year developing, a new national resource that connects workers and employers with vetted training opportunities in robotics in manufacturing and endorses the most relevant and effective training programs.

The new website is the only national resource that lists searchable, vetted training programs. It is geared toward three kinds of users:

  1. Individuals seeking training. They can search by location, delivery method (on-site, virtual, etc.), organization, and educational institution.
  2. Employers can use it to find industry-vetted programs to upskill or retrain their existing workforce.
  3. Education providers can get their programs in front of a national audience of organizations and individuals to connect with potential students.

The database includes about 10,000 programs from nearly 1,200 organizations. It is updated daily, and organizations can add and manage their own information.

In developing the database, Masciantonio and her team included competencies and skills that ARM members, the U.S. Department of Defense, and U.S. manufacturers identified as the most important for specific jobs in program descriptions so that, when a user clicks on a program, they will see what competencies and skills it addresses.

Manufacturers who seek employees with certain competencies can use the competency framework that ARM has created as well. Likewise, training providers developing new robotics programs can rely on competency frameworks for curricula and education benchmarks.

'This isn’t your grandfather’s manufacturing industry,' is a statement that applies to more than just the technology on the plant floor. How we develop skills among robotics technicians, integrators, and specialists is an essential part of the business model. is an exceptional resource to address this training and re-training challenge. The platform is particularly beneficial for small and medium sized businesses who may not have the resources to take on training in-house.

Are you a manufacturer who needs to retrain some employees for new robotics applications at your facility? If so, check out the new national resource for training programs at

Learn about robotics training programs at ARM.

What do you think? Have you checked out Share your thoughts or stories with us at

Check out this short video that explains the goals of 

About the Author

Catherine Ross is an advocate for career-tech education and the future of work. In her decade-plus in U.S. Manufacturing, she has directed quality accreditation programs, organized national STEM events and student competitions, and served as liaison and manager for federal workforce initiatives.

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