Lightweight Innovations For Tomorrow, better known as LIFT, is a national leader in manufacturing skills development. The private-public partnership organization focuses on “developing and deploying advanced lightweight materials manufacturing technologies, and implementing education and training programs to prepare the workforce”.
LIFT hosted an Open House on Aug. 1 at their brand new LIFT Learning Lab in Detroit hosting students, teachers, and members of the local industrial community.
The facility, geared toward providing learners with access to the hundreds of pieces of equipment and world class curriculum, finished development earlier this summer. Now, it has opened its doors to the community.
Learning Lab Open House
The state of the art Learning Lab welcomed in students, teachers, and members of Michigan’s industrial community to participate in the event.
Over 200 students were given the chance to participate in the training sessions. First, students took a tour of the entire LIFT facility. Then the group got hands-on experience with the different equipment and training courses that the Lab offers.
In the Lab, the students saw a modified version of the curriculum to be used for training. They went through crash courses on the basics of some of the founding principles of manufacturing, from Amatrol AC/DC circuits to Amatrol Mechatronics Trainers.
The course provided a taste of the skills taught at the center. The experience also showed kids potential careers that are accessible to them through manufacturing.
Chriss Roberts, Business Development Executive at ATS played a large role in planning and providing the training equipment and curriculum to the Lab. He remarked on the project, “It is just a phenomenal opportunity for these kids. They get exposure to all sorts of ideas and opportunities they otherwise might not be able to get.”
The Lab will be an excellent resource for the local community and the state. An agreement is already in place with Detroit’s University Prep High School to use the facility. UPrep will be utilizing skills development and fabrications training there. UPrep students were among the teens present at the Open House.
LIFT’s new learning lab is also serving the next generation manufacturers with the latest curriculum and training in connected systems and smart factory integrations.
The manufacturing landscape continues to change and integrate as part of the Industry 4.0 wave. There is now a greater need for workers who have been taught on advanced manufacturing platforms and who understand the innovations that continue to dominate industrial modernization.
Industry has become increasingly focused on integrating automation in manufacturing and using smart factory capabilities. These innovations are paving the way for skills development, such as the courses offered by LIFT to fill the need for more training in advanced manufacturing.
Training A New Workforce
In recent years Michigan has experienced a significant uptick in manufacturing job creation. This year Macomb County had the largest manufacturing job growth in the nation.
The announcement of new plants such as the Fiat Chrysler Mack Avenue plant in Detroit, which just began construction in early August, certainly provide great opportunity. But they also represent a need for trained workers.
LIFT Learning Lab is working to fill the growing demand for workers with advanced manufacturing training. Using their facility and state of the art equipment, LIFT is seeking to meet this need. The Learning Lab has the potential to be a driving force in Michigan’s continued manufacturing development.