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News | Jan. 23, 2024

FACT SHEET: Biden-⁠Harris Administration Highlights New Commitments Toward Equitable Workforce Development in Advanced Manufacturing

Today, the Biden-Harris Administration will announce new commitments to workforce development from the Advanced Manufacturing Workforce Sprint. The Sprint, which First Lady Jill Biden announced in May and the Administration kicked off in October, is an intensive drive to build a diverse, skilled pipeline of workers for good advanced manufacturing jobs, including union jobs, many of which do not require a four-year college degree. This comes as President Biden’s historic Investing in America agenda—including the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, CHIPS and Science Act, Inflation Reduction Act, and American Rescue Plan—is creating strong demand for skilled advanced manufacturing workers in clean energy, biotechnology, semiconductors, and more.

Today, Neera Tanden, Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, in partnership with the National Economic Council, will highlight some of the many new commitments in remarks to 850 community college and other labor and workforce leaders in New Orleans, Louisiana. More than 160 organizations are participating in the Sprint—including community colleges, employers, unions, education and training providers, community-based groups, philanthropic organizations, and state and local governments—by taking tangible steps to help more Americans train for and succeed in good advanced manufacturing jobs and careers.

In the three months since the Administration kicked off the Advanced Manufacturing Workforce Sprint:

  • Over 160 organizations have made new commitments to workforce development and job quality in advanced manufacturing.
  • Over 150 new advanced manufacturing-related Registered Apprenticeship programs and occupations have been created or are newly under development.
  • Over 4,700 new apprentices have been hired in advanced manufacturing occupations.
  • The Administration is announcing new investments—including more than $50 million in January alone—to grow and diversify America’s advanced manufacturing workforce.
  • The AFL-CIO Working for America Institute, in partnership with labor and industry, will lead development of a universal pathway curriculum for advanced manufacturing to provide students and workers an onramp to good advanced manufacturing careers.

The Biden-Harris Administration continues to encourage and support expansion of high-quality pathways into advanced manufacturing, and invites additional interested organizations to join the Sprint by submitting a commitment.

Alongside Director Tanden’s remarks today, the Administration is highlighting dozens of concrete actions by Sprint participants and agencies to expand high-quality pathways into good advanced manufacturing jobs and careers:

  • The Department of Labor announced that more than 4,700 apprentices have been hired and more than 150 new programs and occupations created or under development during the course of its Advanced Manufacturing Registered Apprenticeship Accelerator Series. The effort was launched on October 6 to meet critical recruitment, retention, and training needs in advanced manufacturing occupations—including in the clean energy, semiconductor, aerospace, automotive, and biotechnology sectors. Registered Apprenticeship programs offer a proven earn-and-learn pathway that benefit workers and employers alike.
  • Examples of employer and non-profit actions to expand Registered Apprenticeship programs and other high-quality pathways include:
    • Multiverse, in collaboration with partners such as Rolls Royce, will scale its advanced manufacturing-related Registered Apprenticeship programs to support 1,000 roles, such as Data Analyst, over the next two years.
    • Rockwell Automation, a smart manufacturing company, will expand its Academy of Advanced Manufacturing, a 12-week residential program in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Cleveland, Ohio that equips veterans with the technical and workplace skills to fill in-demand manufacturing jobs. The program has served over 500 participants, 38 percent of whom are people of color.
    • Micron, the only U.S.-based leading-edge semiconductor manufacturing company, partnered with the Idaho Manufacturing Alliance and College of Western Idaho to expand their first-ever Registered Apprenticeship Program in Advanced Mechatronics. Micron is also advancing its partnerships with community colleges to increase recruitment of underrepresented students, including with a $5 million investment to Onondaga Community College to support a new Micron Cleanroom Simulation Laboratory.
    • Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC) – Atlanta/Georgia Chapters, a non-profit trade organization, committed to hiring 125 additional Electrical Registered Apprentices. 
    • Global Foundries, semiconductor contract manufacturing and design company, has committed to enrolling 130 incumbent workers in its Industrial Manufacturing Technician Registered Apprenticeship program.
    • Jobs for the Future (JFF), a workforce development organization, will register at least 825 apprentices annually, at least 50 percent of whom will be from populations underrepresented in the advanced manufacturing workforce. JFF will also provide free coaching and technical assistance—including on equitable recruiting strategies—for employers and other group sponsors launching a registered apprenticeship in manufacturing.
  • Examples of community college actions to increase high-quality programming and partnerships include:
    • Delta College in Michigan plans to enroll 300 students during the first two years of a new 15-week accelerated technician certificate program or engineering degree programs this year, both developed in partnership with local semiconductor manufacturers Hemlock and SK Siltron. Delta will recruit students from local K-12 schools and provide wraparound supports such as housing stipends, child care, transportation and food assistance, and healthcare, partnering with local community groups.
    • Nunez Community College in Louisiana, in partnership with NASA and Boeing, will register its Aerospace Manufacturing Technology Training program as a Registered Apprenticeship program. 
    • Fullerton Community College in Californiawill work with up to 100 area employers to implement Registered Apprenticeships for CNC/Machinists.
    • St. Petersburg Community College in Florida, in partnership with GE Aerospace, plans to launch a new Registered Apprenticeship program in Avionic Technology in early 2024.  
    • Leeward Community College in Hawaii will create new specializations in Advanced Additive Manufacturing, Robotics, Cobotics, accessible as part of an associate’s degree in Integrated Industrial Technology or as a stackable credential for workers seeking to upskill.
    • Parkland College in Illinois, in partnership with AGCO, an American agricultural machinery manufacturer, will launch a Registered Apprenticeship program in 2024 for Agricultural Equipment Technicians, which will target underserved youth. 
  • Examples of partnerships between unions, employers, and education providers to deliver high-quality pathways into good advanced manufacturing jobs and careers include:
    • The American Federation of Teachers (AFT)—in partnership with the New York State United Teachers, the United Federation of Teachers, Micron, and Governor Kathy Hochul—launched a $4 million project to develop an Advanced Technology Framework for students to hone technical skills for semiconductor jobs, which will be piloted in 10 school districts starting next fall.
    • In March, the Department of Labor will launch a National Manufacturing Sector Table of leading labor, industry and workforce organizations in the manufacturing sector and support them to develop and lift up workforce solutions that equitably build and grow the next generation of the manufacturing workforce.
    • The AFL-CIO Working for America Institute (WAI) will support DOL’s Sector Table by working with other organizations to develop, scale, and adopt a universal pathway curriculum for advanced manufacturing. The universal pathway will provide workers and students an onramp to a variety of good manufacturing jobs and careers, while creating a pipeline of job-ready workers for employers.
    • SME—a nonprofit association of professionals, manufacturers, educators, and students committed to supporting the manufacturing industry—announced the Manufacturing Imperative – Workforce Pipeline Challenge (MI-WPC), a collaboration with 25 community and technical colleges, each of member which aims to enroll 1,000 individuals per year in pathways that lead to family-sustaining manufacturing jobs.
    • North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU), the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), and the National Education Association (NEA) will develop and disseminate a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) template to help local school districts, community colleges, and unions form partnerships to build students’ awareness of and access to good union careers—building on similar MOUs announced in the Augusta Workforce Hub. The template may include language for developing training partnerships such as pre-apprenticeship and Registered Apprenticeship programs; engaging education professionals such as school counselors and career and technical education (CTE) instructors; and reaching underrepresented students. Local areas can adapt the template for their needs and apply it in construction trades, advanced manufacturing, and other sectors.
  • The White House Workforce Hubs—announced in five cities across the country that are seeing significant public- and private-sector investment—continue to lead the way on equitable workforce development, including for good advanced manufacturing jobs and careers. For example:
    • In Columbus, Columbus State Community College (CSCC) launched its semiconductor technician certificate program developed with Intel—announced during First Lady Jill Biden’s visit to the Columbus Workforce Hub in July—which is part of a suite of engineering technology programs that CSCC plans to grow fourfold by 2030, enrolling 5,000 students a year.
    • In Pittsburgh, the German American Chamber of Commerce, Pittsburgh Chapter will launch a new Electric Vehicle (EV) Technician Registered Apprenticeship in August 2024. Five employers have signed on to host apprentices; the program is committed to having the highest safety standards for its apprentices in the industry.
    • In Augusta, Augusta Technical College, in collaboration with the Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL), announced it will enhance its Nuclear Engineering Technology program curriculum, supported by a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Minority Serving Institutions Partnership Program (MSIPP). The initiative includes establishing a new apprenticeship program at SRNL; adding modules for radiation control and protection; and engaging high school students early through site visits, hands-on learning experiences, and a summer internship program.
    • In Phoenix, the City—in partnership with Arizona State University (ASU), Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD), and Western Maricopa Education Center (West-MEC)—is establishing Innovation 27, a workforce training and education collaborative focused on semiconductor, bioscience, information technology, healthcare, and other emerging industries. It is supported by $18.5 million in funding from President Biden’s American Rescue Plan.
  • The 17 Manufacturing USA Institutes, which collectively comprise over 2,500 member organizations across the nation and engage more than 106,000 people in advanced manufacturing training, announced recent steps to expand workforce development:
    • BioFabUSA welcomed the inaugural cohort of the first-of-its-kind Biofabrication Technician Registered Apprenticeship Program in November. Apprentices completed customized coursework in math, biology, chemistry, and cell culture, along with soft skills and hands-on training to prepare them for the workplace. Participants will begin a year of on-the-job training, with pay and benefits, in late January 2024.
    • NIMBL, the Department of Commerce Manufacturing USA Institute, launched its 2024 application for the NIMBL eXperience program, which will offer postsecondary students real-world exploration of careers in the biopharmaceutical industry, targeting students of color, including at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

These commitments complement new and ongoing federal investments to expand and diversify the advanced manufacturing workforce, including:

  • The Department of Labor awarded more than $65 million to develop, scale, and diversify Registered Apprenticeship programs to 46 states and territories—with 19 states focusing on advanced manufacturing as a target sector with $36 million in formula funds.
  • The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) launched a $28 million Future Manufacturing competition on January 10 to catalyze new manufacturing capabilities that do not exist today through research, education, and workforce training that will overcome scientific, technological, educational, economic, and social barriers. Applicants must develop a plan to prepare diverse students and a skilled technical workforce that can transition new discoveries into U.S. manufacturing enterprise.
  • NSF will announce upwards of $20 million for its Experiential Learning in Emerging and Novel Technologies (ExLENT) program in March. ExLENT is a first-of-a-kind training initiative that provides paid experiential learning opportunities such as Registered Apprenticeships to current professionals in any field, helping them build the skills they need to pivot into careers in emerging technology fields, such as advanced manufacturing, microelectronics, biomanufacturing, and energy. This new announcement will build on NSF’s inaugural ExLENT awards of $18.8 million to 27 project teams.
  • On January 22, Department of Energy (DOE) announced its intent to invest up to $24 million in high-quality training for union apprentices, incumbent workers, and students for in-demand jobs in advanced manufacturing and clean energy through the Industrial Assessment Centers (IAC) Program. The announcement is part of the IAC Program’s unprecedented expansion to include Registered Apprenticeship, union-led training, and community and technical college programs through President Biden’s Investing in America agenda. It follows DOE’s $40 million investment, announced in November, to support 17 new IACs as well as the inaugural cohort of 10 Building Training and Assessment Centers. 

The Biden-Harris Administration’s Advanced Manufacturing Sprint builds on the Administration’s prior workforce sprints, which have driven commitments to equitable workforce development and job quality improvement to address critical needs. These include efforts to expand Registered Apprenticeships in trucking and cybersecurity, and to build pathways into good jobs and careers in broadband, electrification, and construction through the Talent Pipeline Challenge. The Sprint also supports the goals of the plan to expand education and training opportunities to biotechnology and biomanufacturing released in July.