New Century Careers launches robotics technician apprenticeship program
By Julia Mericle, Pittsburgh Business Times Pittsburgh-based New Century Careers aims to start its first 10-person cohort of a new two-year robotics technician apprenticeship program in July.
NCC started development of the program in collaboration with Catalyst Connection, Community College of Allegheny County and Tooling U-SME in 2018 with grant funding from Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing. The apprenticeship program will include both classroom instruction at CCAC, as well as on-the-job skills training, according to Neil Ashbaugh, CEO of NCC.
New Century Careers held an information session Tuesday for interested manufacturing companies to learn more about the program. Ashbaugh said its targeted at both upskilling employees already working in manufacturing and preparing entry level employees for growing demand in the field.
“There’s a huge need for it,” Ashbaugh said. “…One of the things we found in our preliminary survey of over 300 companies is that one of the things holding people back is the companies were interested in investing in the new technology, but hesitant because they did not know if they would have the right skilled people to work with that equipment.”
Ashbaugh said the program can help fill needed roles across the region at both large and small manufacturers.
“There are a lot of existing manufacturers in the region that are working with robotics and automation solutions,” Ashbaugh said. “And this would supplement their need to have qualified individuals in their companies to work with and maintain these types of solutions.”
The apprenticeship program is registered by both the Pennsylvania State Department of Labor and the U.S. Federal Department of Labor. It also received approval from the state apprenticeship council.