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Penn State receives $4.4M investment for manufacturing programs

The Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI) and the U.S. Department of Defense plan to invest $4.4 million in Penn State’s Behrend and University Park campuses.

Funding will be applied to several metals-based manufacturing programs.

The university’s three-year initiative, the Metallurgical Engineering Trades Apprenticeship and Learning (METAL) program, will address a shortage of skilled labor in the manufacturing sector.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 25 percent of the manufacturing work force is 55 years old or older, and the Manufacturing Institute estimates more than 2 million manufacturing jobs will be unfilled by 2030. The Department of Defense will need for at least 122,000 mission-critical manufacturing personnel by 2028.

“We want to inspire the next generation to pursue careers in metal manufacturing,” Paul Lynch, METAL program leader, said. “The ultimate goal is to position the Pennsylvania metals industry to be competitive in both the national and international marketplaces, and to keep family-sustaining jobs here in the United States, including here in the Erie region.”

Lynch, an associate professor of industrial engineering and a faculty member in the Master of Manufacturing Management program at Penn State Behrend, will work with colleagues to develop metals-focused manufacturing teaching programs for students in kindergarten through college.


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