RAMTEC Robotics Summit Addresses Manufacturing Skills Gap

Participants call on educators, manufacturers to continue collaborations

Educators, state officials and manufacturing leaders united Thursday, October 11 to discuss how robotics is transforming manufacturing and what’s needed to keep the momentum going in Ohio.


The inaugural RAMTEC Robotics Summit celebrated the success of the Tri-Rivers Career Center Robotics and Advanced Manufacturing Technology Education Collaborative (RAMTEC) now duplicated across the state. Attendees addressed the issue of how to address a looming skills gap and its potential economic repercussions.

“There’s 2.5 million jobs that need to be filled,” said Tri-Rivers Superintendent Chuck Speelman. “We understand the need that’s out there and we continue to push forward.”
Participants said solutions must rely on continued collaboration to produce a workforce ready to fill the gap between numbers of retiring engineers and younger skilled workers ready to take their place.

RAMTEC Ohio at Tri-Rivers opened in 2013 to help address that need. Partners created the program to train students on equipment like FANUC, Yaskawa and Universal robots most widely used in industry settings. The facility trains both high school students and adult learners.

Since opening, the RAMTEC training center has certified students in industrial maintenance, engineering technology, advanced machining, robotics and welding careers. Ohio Department of Education Straight A grants have funded the creation of 22 more RAMTEC facilities throughout the state.


Ohio Department of Education Senior Executive Director of Student Supports and Education Options Steve Gratz said education must continue to blur the lines between college prep and career tech to ensure the state’s future workers have the skills required by employers.

As an example of potential solutions, he referred to the creation of the OhioMeansJobs Readiness Seal that indicates students have the personal strengths, strong work ethic and professional experience needed by businesses. The state is working to make sure industries know what the seal indicates when they see it on high school graduates’ transcripts.

Ryan Burgess, director of the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation, called on businesses to support a culture of continuous learning to ensure workers keep up with ever changing skills.“If you’re not willing to roll up your sleeves as business people and work with education, not much is going to happen,” he said.

Stephen Catt, deputy director of education and workforce development for the Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing collaborative, said education and workforce development must build the right ecosystem for developing technology. He warned a failure to act would lead to threats to the United States’ industrial base like a lack of skilled workers, reduced global manufacturing dominance and an overreliance on overseas technology that could even impact national security.

Along with partnerships, the summit involved what must take place to attract students to manufacturing careers. Participants attended learning sessions that let them talk to RAMTEC instructors and students who demonstrated the robots they use in the labs.


Paul Aiello, director of C.E.R.T. sales and operations for FANUC America Corporation, said part of the solution must be to “paint a picture of what opportunities are available in manufacturing” today rather than what’s found in history books.


“It’s the curriculum that’s the glue that holds it all together,” said Robert Graff, senior sales manager of Yaskawa Motorman’s robotics education workforce development division. He suggested designing curriculum that attracts younger students through means like augmented reality and videos.

Dan Mantz, CEO, for Robotics Education & Competitive  Foundation shared how the REC Foundation prepares students for #STEM industry and helps build the  future workforce,

 


Honda North America, Inc. is among manufacturers already answering the call as technology workforce development manager Scot McLemore praised RAMTEC, which assists in training Honda workers. He pledged Honda would continue supporting educational pathways that lead students to high-paying jobs.

You can also contact Ritch Ramey at moc.s1544608241revir1544608241irt@y1544608241emarr1544608241

 

RAMTEC, Yaskawa Motoman partnership to put Ohio at forefront of manufacturing industry

“The vision we have had all along is to develop the Workforce of the 21st Century,” said Ritch Ramey, RAMTEC coordinator for Tri-Rivers Career Center. “Our goal is to create a Silicon Valley of Robotics here in Central Ohio.”

Ramey’s vision is becoming a reality as RAMTEC (Robotics & Advanced Manufacturing Technology Education Collaborative) and Yaskawa Motoman announced the formation of a new business partnership—The Ohio Manufacturing Workforce Partnership—at a press conference held Tuesday in Miamisburg at the robotics company’s facility.

“This is a critical step in Ohio’s economic future because it will make manufacturing part of our economy long into the future,” said Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, who was at the event. “Five years from now you’re going to wonder what decisions are businesses going to make when they locate their manufacturing facilities. The key issue for businesses is going to be talent.”

Husted said, “We are going to get behind RAMTEC and we are going to get behind these kinds of programs to make Ohio the most talented state in the Midwest. The most business friendly state in the Midwest and the state where people say this is where the future of manufacturing is in the world.”

“We emphasize to our students that many manufacturing jobs are high-tech, exciting careers,” said Chuck Speelman, Tri-Rivers Superintendent. “Robots are doing the repetitive, dangerous and dirty jobs. Students quickly learn that by exploiting the Robotics & Automation technology, a safe, productive environment is created.”

It is estimated that 87,000 new robotic jobs will need to be filled in the U.S. over the next decade. The new partnership will expand RAMTEC’s curriculum to provide advanced robotic training and certifications that will be available to students in Central Ohio and around the state.

“I think something that we excel at in Marion is the partnership between the private sector and education and the public sector…we sort of cracked the code on how do you get manufacturers and the private sector together with educational institutions to make sure everyone is speaking the same language, said Gus Comstock, director of Marion CANDO!.

“RAMTEC is the mother ship of Robotics Education in the State of Ohio and probably one of the best in the nation. It doesn’t get any better for a company that needs people with robotics training. RAMTEC offers them an opportunity to be best in class and to find the best jobs in the nation and the world,” added Comstock.

“When you look at what is happening around the country, there are various programs that are out there being built to replicate what RAMTEC has already done. We look at RAMTEC as really ground zero for industrial education for robotics,” said Bob Graff, senior sales manager of Robotics /Education Workforce Development at Yaskawa Motoman.

Wesley Stillions, a recent graduate of Tri-Rivers RAMTEC Engineering Technology program, has already helped to build a robotic workcell for Whirlpool. Stillions plans to enlist in the military first, but hopes to get a robotics job at Honda when he returns. “It makes me feel very proud to have worked on a robot workcell for Whirlpool and especially proud to be from Marion.”

RAMTEC’s programs help students like Stillions to get high paying jobs at Ohio companies right out of high school.

“Data reveals that within ten years nearly 3.5 million manufacturing jobs will sit empty, with the skills gap being responsible for 2 million of those jobs going unfilled,” said Ramey. “Forming mutually-beneficial relationships with manufacturers through the Ohio Manufacturing Workforce Partnership will create the foundation needed to move Ohio’s workforce forward.”

RAMTEC’s core mission to partner with real-world manufacturing facilities to help identify and supply the needs of the manufacturing industry is fueling their involvement in the partnerships with Yaskawa Motoman and companies like Whirlpool. The entire project development funding is earmarked for $400,000 to provide a comprehensive training and application development model that will reach thousands of incumbent workers and students statewide.

“Our workforce-driven training and research partnership with RAMTEC is a solid step to providing students with work-based learning opportunities in the field of robotics,” said Doug Burnside, Yaskawa Motoman’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “The best-in-class instruction and certification programs provided through our Yaskawa Academy will also help to enhance RAMTEC’s vision of providing proficient training and
curriculum in 21st century automation and robotics.”

“The game changer is really about how RAMTEC is going about building a model that is sustainable—that supports what industry is looking for. It really is the biggest value that RAMTEC has,” said Graff.

 

Top Photo:
Ritch Ramey, Tri-Rivers RAMTEC Coodinator addressing group at press conference announcing RAMTEC and Yaskawa Motoman partnership. Pictured with Ramey, Bob Graff, Yaskawa Motoman, Rob Brundrett, Ohio Manufacturers Association and Secretary of State Jon Husted.
 

Inset Photo, l-r: Ritch Ramey, Tri-Rivers Career Center RAMTEC Coordinator; Ohio Secretary of  State Jon Husted and Bob Graff, Senior Sales Manager of Robotics/Education Workforce Development at Yaskawa Motoman.

 

History of RAMTEC
RAMTEC Ohio opened its doors in Marion in 2013. In June of 2014 eight additional RAMTEC sites were funded through an Ohio Department of Education $14,995,000 Straight A Grant. Then in November 2015 an additional $8 million Straight A Grant funded 14 more RAMTEC Ohio sites. Today, with the site at Tri-Rivers leading the way, 23 RAMTECs are located in Ohio.

“Unique to RAMTEC is that where most schools tend to direct training to high school students, at RAMTEC we are directing training to not only high school students, but adults as well, including college students and incumbent workers, said Mark Edington, RAMTEC instructor.

Since opening, the training center at Tri-Rivers has certified more than 400 students in industrial maintenance, engineering technology, advanced machining, robotics and welding careers. RAMTEC’s graduates have been hired by companies such as: Honda of America Mfg Inc., RobotWorx, SEMCO Manufacturing Co., Union Tank Car Co. and Whirlpool Corp.

Edington said in the last class of high school students at Tri-Rivers RAMTEC, 19 of the 20 were employed even before they graduated. “The Adult students going through the new Tri-Rivers RAMTEC Robotics Technician Training are equally successful in being hired at companies like Jefferson Industries.”

RAMTEC has been recognized by: the SME Education Foundation, the Ohio Economic Development Association and the Ohio Department of Education for being innovative and cutting edge. More than $20 million dollars in state grants has allowed Tri-Rivers to partner with additional career centers to expand and continue the innovative vision of RAMTEC helping to fill Ohio’s skills gap and hopefully helping to establish Marion as the new Robotics Hub in Ohio. To learn more at RAMTEC visit ramtecohio.com

Tri-Rivers RAMTEC addresses manufacturing skills gap

Marion has always been a community that builds things. We create things. We just always have. We created the machines that built the Panama Canal. We helped move rockets and space shuttles. It’s always been in our DNA.

At Tri-Rivers Career Center, we knew there was a skills gap; industry told us. We knew students needed advanced manufacturing training, but they just weren’t getting it. So, what could we do about it? We needed to create a place to fill these gaps; we needed a place like RAMTEC (Robotics & Advanced Manufacturing Technology Education Collaborative).

“Our answer to the manufacturing skills gap in Ohio is RAMTEC,” said Ramey, RAMTEC Coordinator and Engineering Instructor at Tri-Rivers Career Center. “Tri-Rivers leads the nation on creating a state of the art training center for the gray collar jobs of the future with advanced manufacturing and engineering skills. We are building a Robotic Technician Pipeline.”

Ramey said, “Data shows over the next decade nearly three and a half million manufacturing jobs will be needed to be filled and the skills gap is expected to result in 2 million of those jobs going unfilled.”

Ramey said RAMTEC works with numerous Robotics, Programmable Logic Control and Welding companies to provide multiple advanced manufacturing and robotics certifications all under on roof.

“Tri-Rivers RAMTEC is set up with the most sophisticated up-to-date equipment that is out in the market today with over 38 robots, including FANUC, Yaskawa and Universal—the robots most widely used out in industry settings,” said Mark Edington, RAMTEC Instructor.

“When you look at what is happening around the country, there are various programs that are out there being built to replicate what RAMTEC has already done. We look at RAMTEC as really ground zero for industrial education for robotics,” said Bob Graff, senior sales manager of Robotics /Education Workforce Development at Yaskawa Motoman.

“RAMTEC is a state of the art facility modeled very similar to what we have at our Honda Technical Training Lab, said Drew Mosley, technical training instructor for Honda of America and a graduate of RAMTEC. “They are trying to give students a taste of what they will see on the (manufacturing) floor. They are giving them those tools prior to even going to college. I attribute a lot of my success to Tri-Rivers and the amount of work they put into building the program to what it is now.”

“They are teaching students the same exact skills they will use in the workforce It’s not a situation where there is a correlation or a parallel. It is literally what they are doing in the class is what they will be doing in the manufacturing environment,” Daryl Young, controls and automation manager for Whirlpool-Marion Division.

“They really took charge of identifying the types of curriculum and types of equipment that would prepare those students well immediately for needs that we have within our manufacturing operations,” said Scot McLemore of Honda of America. “Tri-Rivers through their RAMTEC Center has really focused on meeting our needs as an employer with our automation and manufacturing operations and then really working closely with us in terms of identifying pathways that lead to those positions that we have.”

Gus Comstock, the director of CANDO! Marion, said “I think something that we excel at in Marion is the partnership between the private sector and education and the public sector…we sort of cracked the code on how do you get manufacturers and the private sector together with educational institutions to make sure everyone is speaking the same language. RAMTEC is the mother ship of Robotics Education in the State of Ohio and probably one of the best in the nation. It doesn’t get any better for a company that needs people with robotics training.”

“The game changer is really about how RAMTEC is going about building a model that is sustainable—that supports what industry is looking for. It really is the biggest value that RAMTEC has,” said Graff.

“RAMTEC is going to keep our jobs here as apposed to moving to another country or another location,” said Annette Walton, Ohio Means Jobs, Marion.

RAMTEC Ohio opened its doors in Marion in 2013. In June of 2014 eight additional RAMTEC sites were funded through an Ohio Department of Education $14,995,000 Straight A Grant. Then in November 2015 an additional $8 million Straight A Grant funded 14 more RAMTEC Ohio sites. Today, with the site at Tri-Rivers leading the way, 23 RAMTECs are located in Ohio.

“Unique to RAMTEC is that where most schools tend to direct training to high school students, at RAMTEC we are directing training to not only high school students, but adults as well, including college students and incumbent workers, said Edington.

“RAMTEC is a state of the art facility modeled very similar to what we have at our Honda Technical Training Lab, said Drew Mosley, technical training instructor for Honda of America and a graduate of RAMTEC. “They are trying to give students a taste of what they will see on the (manufacturing) floor. They are giving them those tools prior to even going to college. I attribute a lot of my success to Tri-Rivers and the amount of work they put into building the program to what it is now.”

Since opening, the training center at Tri-Rivers has certified more than 350 students in industrial maintenance, engineering technology, advanced machining, robotics and welding careers. RAMTEC’s graduates have been hired by companies such as Honda of America Mfg Inc., RobotWorx, SEMCO Manufacturing Co., Union Tank Car Co. and Whirlpool Corp.

Edington said in the last class of high school students at Tri-Rivers RAMTEC, 19 of the 20 were employed even before they graduated. “The Adult students going through the new Tri-Rivers RAMTEC Robotics Technician Training are equally successful in being hired at companies like Jefferson Industries.”

RAMTEC has been recognized by the SME Education Foundation, the Ohio Economic Development Association and the Ohio Department of Education for being innovative and cutting edge. More than $20 million dollars in state grants has allowed Tri-Rivers to partner with additional career centers to expand and continue the innovative vision of RAMTEC helping to fill Ohio’s skills gap and hopefully helping to establish Marion as the new Robotics Hub in Ohio. To learn more at RAMTEC visit ramtecohio.com

FREE* RAMTEC Robotics Technician Training—Learn more June 27th

Explore Tri-Rivers RAMTEC Robotic Technician Training (RRTT) during the Hiring and Training Fair, Wednesday, June 27, 2pm to 6pm at RAMTEC. With funding through JobsOhio and Ohio Means Jobs, qualifying individuals selected will receive this valuable customized training FREE*. The value of the certifications is approximately $6,995. Completers of the training are guaranteed a job interview, according to Ritch Ramey, coordinator for RAMTEC.

*To be selected for the next RRTT three-week customized skills training class, July 23-August 10, 2018, individuals must first pass a background check, drug screening and assessment tests and be selected. They can learn more details at the upcoming Hiring & Training Fair June 27. RRTT Brochure

Those selected for the customized training will earn high-demand industry certifications, including:

• FANUC Robotic HTOP Robotic Training—40 hours in class training

• Yaskawa/Motoman Robotic Training—40 hours in class training

• Additional Training: Robotic Preventative Maintenance, Mechanical Blue Print Reading, Safety-OSHA 10, Technical Math Review and Essential Softskills

certifications

Click here to read story on recent graduations from the pilot program—since the news release they have been hired or promoted.

Contact Holly at RAMTEC if you have questions—740-389-8590 or EMAIL

Tri-Rivers’ RAMTEC first Robotics Technicians graduate

Cutline for group photo: l-r: Graduates of Tri-Rivers RAMTEC Robotics Technicians customized training pilot are: Shane Rose. Austin Billingsley, Ian Clouse, and Sean DeWitt.


The four individuals who qualified for the first ever Tri-Rivers’ RAMTEC Robotics Technicians (RRT) customized training have graduated. “This pilot program for adults is just the tip of the iceberg,” said Ritch Ramey, coordinator of RAMTEC. “Our goal is to graduate hundreds of robotics technicians to help fill the growing skills gap.”

This select group of RRT graduates included: Austin Billingsley, Ian Clouse, Sean DeWitt and Shane Rose. “Through this pilot program, these individuals qualified for the free 15-day training worth over $6,000 and are guaranteed job interviews with area companies,” said Ramey.

“These four new members of our robotics fraternity will be very successful Robotic & Automation Technicians in our community,” said Ramey. “As customized training completers they earned both Yaskawa Motoman and FANUC Industrial Robotics certifications as well as OSHA 10 Safety, blueprint reading, Metric System and the A Game of Essential Career Skills training.”

Why is this customized training important and relevant? Ramey explained, “By 2015 it is estimated 3.4 million manufacturing jobs will be needed, but only 1.4 million are expected to be filled. That means 2 million jobs will be left unfilled due to the skills gap,” said Ramey.

“At RAMTEC our high school engineering students have been earning nationally-recognized robotics certifications and we have been providing customized robotics training for area industry,” said Ramey. “However, we need to expand that training to reach more adult students to meet industries’ needs— this Robotics Technicians customized training will do that.”

“To qualify for the pilot Robotics Technicians customized training individuals completed a variety of assessments, including a career awareness program called the COPSystem Career Test,” said Amy Pirnstill, Tri-Rivers transitions/placement coordinator. “The system utilizes three areas that guide students to the best career fit, including: Career Occupational Preference System Interest Inventory (COPS); Career Ability Placement Survey (CAPS) and Career Orientation Placement and Evaluation Survey (COPES).”

Pirnstill said prospective students also completed the The Adult Basic Education (TABE) Test through Marion County Job and Family Services. “This test has four sections: Reading, Language, Math Computation and Applied Math. Plus, they had to pass a drug test and background check.”

DeWitt, the former director for the Marion Boys & Girls Club, said, “I wasn’t finding a job in my field and saw information about the RAMTEC Robotics Tech Training. The timing was right and it seemed like a good fit. I liked the small class size and the hands-on. It was fast-paced and intense, but the instructor was always on hand to help me through any situation. I’m looking forward to interviewing for a job in this field. It’s a new start for me.”

Mark Edington, RAMTEC Robotics Instructor, said, “All four participants in the pilot were outstanding. “They worked hard. They were highly motivated and wanted to really learn how to operate the industrial robots. This program is going to open doors for these students.”

Billingsley, who currently works for Honda, is hoping Edington is right because he is looking to grow in his career. “I have always liked the technical side of things. I’d picked up skills in welding and metal fabrication at Tri-Rivers in high school. This RAMTEC Adult Education Robotics Technician customized training is the next step for me to get into an Industrial Maintenance career. It will open doors for me.  I want to keep taking more advanced classes at RAMTEC. I thrive on hands-on more than just reading information.”

Rose, who also works at Honda,  said, “I’m hoping this training will help me get a more technical job as a Robotic Technician or in Maintenance.”

Clouse added, “I have always thought robots were interesting. The RAMTEC Robotics Tech Training intrigued me. The instructor is very knowledgeable. I’ve learned more here in this class in three weeks, than I learned in all of my high school and college classes. RAMTEC is awesome. The fact that Marion, Ohio has this resource—with nothing else like it in the country—is amazing to me.”

Ramey said Tri-Rivers RAMTEC is positioned to help build a robotic and automation technician pipeline starting right here in Marion, Ohio. “The need is real. One Honda plant announced recently to a group of high school Seniors they will need 800 new hires to replace retirees, including 300 robotic technicians in the next three years.”

Paul Aiello, director of the Certified Education Group for FANUC of America Corporation, commended Ramey and his RAMTEC team, saying,  Tri-Rivers RAMTEC “as one of FANUC’s first high schools to offer our CERT program (Certified Education Training), continues to be the model of success that we need to replicate in high schools throughout America.” He also thanked Ramey for his continued advocacy of Advanced Manufacturing and Robotics.

Ramey said he and his RAMTEC team plan to continue and expand high school offerings, but are also concentrating on offerings for adults. “Through our partnerships with JobsOhio, Ohio Means Jobs, Marion County Jobs and Family Services, as well as Aerotek, Cardington Yutaka, Honda, RobotWorx, Whirlpool, Xigent and others our RAMTEC Robotics Technicians customized training will help fill the skills gap.

Tri-Rivers RAMTEC is located in Marion, Ohio on the Tri-Rivers Career Center campus, 2222 Marion-Mt. Gilead Rd, Marion, OH. The facility is geared to technically train students for high-skilled jobs in Automation, Robotics, CNC (Computer Numerical Control), Welding and Industrial Maintenance.

For more information on the RRT program and other programs offered at Tri-Rivers  RAMTEC, call Holly Ramey at 740-389-8590 or EMAIL