Strengthening U.S. Manufacturing: Machining & Welding Competition Debuts in April

After more than a year of discussions and planning, a high-profile group of early investors has agreed to help establish an inaugural advanced manufacturing skills competition to increase the interest in manufacturing trades nationwide. The competition will kick off in April 2019, with trials in several states.

The idea for the competition grew from the realization that manufacturing skills are at risk in the United States, and if American manufacturers are challenged to produce products in a time of war or national emergency, the U.S. could fall short, due to a scarcity of highly skilled workers. The goal of the competition is to increase interest in advanced manufacturing skills, such as 5-axis machining and high-tech welding.

The competition is unique in that it will not be limited to only students, but also will be open to the general public, including workers in high-tech industries. This will help ensure the competition grows in popularity among a wide audience, including students and workers alike. It is hoped the competition will bring attention to advanced manufacturing, and in turn, increase the number of highly skilled individuals entering the manufacturing trades throughout the U.S.

The machining competitions will be held at various locations across the USA, starting in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. The welding competitions will be held at Lincoln Electric’s new 130,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art training center in Euclid, Ohio.

In the future, the competition will include regional events across the USA, with winners progressing to national competitions. IMTS was chosen as the permanent site for the national competitions, due to its ability to attract more than 115,000 attendees from manufacturing trades around the globe, as well as virtually every machine tool manufacturer and related industry.

Pioneers involved in developing the competition include the Department of Defense (DoD), the Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT), the National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS), Haas Automation, Lincoln Electric, and several universities.

Stay tuned for more details; we will release them as they arrive!