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The Vermont Manufacturing Collaborative was officially launched and seed-funded on March 11, 2020 through a Department of Defense contract within a program called The National Imperative for Industrial Skills.
The national program intends to accelerate the adoption of Advanced Manufacturing by US businesses and significantly grow the capable workforce. Through strong support from Senator Patrick Leahy, Vermont Technical College was awarded a program contract to create the first advanced manufacturing education, research, and development facility in Vermont by building collaboration between higher education and regional industry.
The Vermont Manufacturing Collaborative’s (VT-MC’s) mission is “To advance Technology-enabled Manufacturing and associated Workforce Readiness in Vermont and beyond through collaborative public-private partnerships and opportunities at work in innovative learning, teaching and manufacturing environments.” This will be accomplished by building the Advanced Manufacturing Center at Vermont Tech, a facility housing leading-edge manufacturing equipment, where businesses can gain experience with advanced manufacturing equipment and receive unbiased process and equipment recommendations. Additionally, the AM Center will be an educational hub for learners of all types including early educational awareness (K-6), strong STEM engagement (7-12), technical and vocational schools, colleges and universities, and continuing workforce training / upskilling.
The key elements to building this Advanced Manufacturing ecosystem within Vermont Tech are:
- Building an Advanced Manufacturing Center capable of delivering industry and educational needs.
- Creating a Learning Engagement Portfolio that supports learners through the journey of AM awareness, interest, skill development, and enriching employment.
- Fostering a strong Network of Partners and Collaborators to enhance and accelerate industry adoption of Advanced Manufacturing.
- Enabling a Continuous Improvement Environment through surveys and other means.
- Creating a Sustainable Business to support future operations without VSC burden.
Upon completion of the National Imperative for Industrial Skills contract, in October 2022, Vermont Tech retains ownership of all assets and developed materials for continued service delivery. The national program’s intent is to seed-fund, and jump-start, a financially sustainable entity for continued acceleration of Advanced Manufacturing within the United States.