Job Training Programs: How 4 Companies are Closing the Manufacturing Skills Gap


Over the next decade, an estimated 3.4 million jobs will need to be filled in the manufacturing sector. The problem? Candidates with the right skills to fill those positions will be few and far between.

To close this skills gap, these four companies are taking matters into their own hands:


Toyota’s Advanced Manufacturing Technician (AMT) program gives students the hands-on experience they need to land a decent job after graduation. Offered at select community colleges and technical schools, AMT offers students an opportunity to learn about car manufacturing, machine repair, fluid power, and other principles of manufacturing. Students also take public speaking courses to learn how to communicate efficiently in a manufacturing environment.

Graduates of the program earn an Associate’s degree…and most do it without incurring any debt. Since the program combines classroom instruction with on-site work, students are paid $12 per hour and can get a raise every six months if they perform well.

Most enrollees are sponsored by manufacturing companies such as Toyota or 3M and work in the plants of their sponsoring companies. After graduating, many students are offered jobs by those companies. Those who successfully complete AMT often go on to earn a starting salary of around $65,000.

Permac Industrieselectric-welding-563804_1920

Darlene Miller, president and CEO of Permac Industries, helped spearhead the efforts to create the Right Skills Now program which helps smaller manufacturers find skilled workers. This 24-week accelerated program provides students with 18 weeks of class and lab work plus a six-week paid internship. The aim is to prepare graduates to become CNC operators and help them go beyond that level if they have the desire.

The Right Skills Now curriculum follows the Manufacturing Skills Certification system which is endorsed by the National Association of Manufacturers.


Building a workforce that’s open and flexible to today’s modern approach to manufacturing is at the top of ArcelorMittal’s priorities…which is why they launched the Steelworker for the Future program.  

Available at participating schools in five states, the two and a half year program offers enrollees the chance to earn an Associate’s degree while also shadowing an electrical or mechanical engineer. The program is broken down into four semesters of classroom learning and two paid internships. Students fulfill their shadowing requirement during the first internship. They get to put their new skills to practice during second internship, where hands-on work is the core focus.

Fives Cincinnati

Fives Cincinnati has a comprehensive talent development program that’s aimed at keeping the local workforce informed and prepared to handle the ever-changing landscape of manufacturing. To ensure students have the best possible access to quality education, the company invests in apprenticeship programs and partners with Gateway Community and Technical College to foster the educational environment they need.

Student apprentices undergo a rigorous 8,000 hours of on-the-job training in addition to classroom instruction. Students in the program have the opportunity to earn their Associate’s degree concurrently with their Apprenticeship Certification.

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