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News | Oct. 23, 2023

ARM Institute Hosts Manufacturing Day

Earlier this month, the ARM Institute continued its annual tradition hosting a Manufacturing Day event in collaboration with our Pittsburgh facility neighbors and collaborators, Carnegie Mellon University’s Manufacturing Futures Institute and Catalyst Connection. Our 2023 event was our largest event yet – we welcomed about 150 regional high school students, teachers, and administrators into our Mill 19 facility to explore careers in manufacturing through discussion pods, an exhibit hall of training providers, technology demonstrations, and tables from local manufacturers. 30 external local partners supported this year’s event. This year also featured a new session for teachers, administrators, guidance counselors, and other influencers to learn about the many resources available to help them communicate about the value of manufacturing careers.

Students learned about a wide variety of opportunities in manufacturing – from working on autonomous vehicles like our neighbors at Motional to bio manufacturing like our newest partners BioForge (a collaboration between the University of Pittsburgh and ElevateBio). Specifically, students learned how robots are leading to new roles in manufacturing, such as those available on, the ARM Institute’s national workforce resource.

Explore our event below:

Discussion Pods

Students gather in the ARM Institute's training room

Each year, we highlight younger professionals working manufacturing. This year, students cycled through four discussion pods, allowing them to connect more directly with these professionals and ask questions. Our speakers were:

Kayla Rhody

Kayla Rhody is a Cum Laude graduate from Pennsylvania Western University with a degree in Mechatronics Engineering. Mechatronics focuses on mechanical, electrical, and computer engineering. This degree has fully prepared her for her job as a controls engineer at Sensus in Uniontown, PA. A controls engineer specializes in developing and designing manufacturing operations as well as troubleshooting existing operations. At Sensus, Kayla works on plastic injection molding machines, a variety of custom-made collaborative robot operations, and high voltage projects. Prior to becoming a controls engineer, Kayla had an engineering internship at Aethon in Robinson, PA where she performed SOM (System On Module) board chip upgrades, robot repairs, and calibrated robots that were designed to deliver medication to hospital rooms. She then had an engineering internship at Jatco Machine and Tool Company, Inc. where she operated a coordinate-measuring machine, laser engraver, and repaired plastic injection molds.

Brandon Richards

Brandon is machinist at Aggressive Grinding Service. In high school, he attended Eastern Westmoreland Career and technology center and started machining. His senior year, he started a co-op, which was basically a work release in a machine shop. Post-graduation, he continued there and did an apprenticeship with the NTMA, graduating a year early and winning the apprentice competition. This past year he started teaching for the NTMA. He credits his vo-tech teacher and Bots IQ for sparking his interest in manufacturing.

Christine Leu

Christine is a chemical engineer at ElevateBio, a Biotech Company. In her career, she has worked in numerous departments within Life Sciences Manufacturing. She has done everything from running equipment, to troubleshooting, and supporting process improvements. Christine currently works as a Project Engineer to help Manufacturing readiness at ElevateBio. She oversees end-to-end implementation from planning layout design, to equipment qualification, space readiness, and finally production.
While she really enjoys the excitement and learnings that come with fast-paced and hands on work, her favorite thing about the Life Sciences and Biotech field is the life-changing impact for patients around the world.

Ian Maclachlan

Ian is an Advanced Manufacturing Technician at Carnegie Mellon University’s Manufacturing Futures Institute- (MFI). Ian started his academic journey at the Community College of Allegheny County then used his education to pursue his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. He went on to intern for MFI before being brough on-board full-time at MFI where he runs machining operations at Mill 19.

An Exhibit Hall of Training & Education Providers

Students explore an exhibit hall of training providers

Robotics careers in manufacturing are attainable through a variety of education and training options!

Our event showcased the gambit of training opportunities in Pittsburgh, PA, including the following ARM Endorsed training programs: Community College of Allegheny County, Southwest BotsIQ, Pittsburgh Technical College, and Westmoreland County Community College. We also welcomed Catalyst Connection, TRACKS-CN’s Cyber4RAM badge, New Century Careers, Triangle Tech, Robert Morris University, the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University’s College of Engineering, Community College of Beaver, Center of Life, and Industrial Arts Workshop.

At our table, we walked students through searching our database of 16,000+ training programs, 1,700+ robotics job postings, and using our guided search capability to match to opportunities that align with their goals.

Technology Demonstrations and Tables with Local Manufacturers

Students also got hands-on and learned about a variety of technologies that are making manufacturing safer, more engaging, and more efficient. Students explored robotics technologies in the ARM Institute’s Robotics Manufacturing Hub, an autonomous vehicle provided by Motional, a robotics testbed and additive manufacturing demonstrations by Carnegie Mellon, robotics from zipper manufacturer YKK, and more.

Our event also connected students directly to local manufacturers including Alpine Packaging, Kurt J Lesker , JV Manufacturing, EH Scwabb, Re:Build, Matthews International, Pittsburgh Glass Center, BioForge, and others.