Today’s blog is written by NTMA’s President, Roger Atkins. Connect with Roger on LinkedIn.
I’m going to let you in on a little secret.
Not all manufacturing training is made equal.
Maybe that doesn’t seem like much of a secret to you. But start looking at training options for your team, and you’ll see what I mean.
Let’s say you’re searching for “wire EDM training” or “CNC milling courses.” You’ll find a host of options, primarily in the form of sponsored ads from trade schools promoting their (new) manufacturing training.
Then, like many modern machine shop owners, you’ll click on a top result and select the cheapest, fastest, or most brand-familiar training.
While there’s nothing wrong with choosing training from a trade school, you’ve probably overlooked one of the most valuable training solutions available to manufacturers today: trade associations.
Trade Schools vs. Trade Associations
Public, private, for-profit, and nonprofit trade schools all share a singular mandate: to enroll students. Money is their primary driver—both the profits from student enrollments and the government funds awarded to local training centers.
Economic and cultural trends heavily influence these schools’ manufacturing curriculums. The moment manufacturing slows down, courses get cut or combined so the school can restructure to make room for more nursing students, dental hygienists, or web developers.
Trade associations take a different approach. Most notably, they are driven by their commitment to the industry, and they don’t deviate from that focus. A trade association will never modify their curriculum merely to attract more enrollees. They remain laser-focused on delivering accurate, impactful training.
At NTMA, we strive to be servant leaders for our manufacturing community—not self-serving and profit-driven. With nearly 80 years of industry experience under our belts, you can feel confident we’re no fly-by-night operation.
NTMA is in the weeds with every modern machine shop in the country. We thrive when you thrive. And seeing you thrive is our number one priority.
Need Training? NTMA Has Your Back
One of the best things you can do for manufacturing is to train your people via reputable, long-established educational resources. Many of these machine shop resources, links, and more are on NTMA’s website! Here’s a sampling of our industry offerings:
In partnership with industry experts, NTMA developed NTMA-U. This fully online educational program can help deliver an empowered workforce, providing benefits that will positively impact your bottom line. NTMA-U offers the related instruction for a machinist apprenticeship and specific incumbent worker training.
AMPED: Advanced Manufacturing Practices and Education Development
NTMA formed this 501(c)3 organization to engage, inspire, and prepare America’s precision manufacturing workforce. AMPED provides two key advantages to NTMA members:
- AMPED Career Center connects job seekers looking for their next career and employers seeking new employees.
- AMPED Resource Center is a one-stop access point dedicated to attracting, inspiring, and preparing America’s precision manufacturing workforce.
Through our partnership with Tooling U-SME, we bring you a catalog of over 500 specialty online classes that will unleash your workforce’s true potential and empower your employees with the skills and competencies they need to be more productive and engaged.
Classes are fully aligned to industry standards and industry-backed certifications.
Workforce training assistance
A well-trained, skilled workforce is critical to a modern machine shop’s bottom-line success. However, with many manufacturers facing budget constraints, training solutions must be just as cost-effective as they are high-quality. NTMA has assembled a list of national, regional, and state-level funding sources to help companies offset the costs of developing and retaining skilled workers.
NRL: National Robotics League
This manufacturing workforce development program encourages students to design and build remote-controlled robots (“bots”) to face off in gladiator-style competitions. Manufacturers help competitors engineer a lean, mean, fighting machine—and they build valuable industry-school connections and workforce talent pipelines in the process.
Consider Your Local Trade Association
The next time you choose training for your team, consider your local trade association. You’ll be supporting an organization that advocates for manufacturers, understands the politics of the manufacturing industry, provides ongoing education and community, and helps develop the emerging leaders of manufacturing’s future.
So join NTMA and take advantage of all we have to offer!