April 7, 2014
Autocam: “Learn and Earn” Program
As part of its commitment to innovation and global competitiveness, Autocam has recently made a splash in developing the advanced manufacturing talent pool – from right at home, in West Michigan. Autocam has offered talent development programs for machinists, technicians, and engineers for nearly 25 years in efforts to close the skills gap in the advanced manufacturing workforce. But only recently, in 2012, did it formalize its training program to create AMP, the Advance Manufacturing Partnership. John Kennedy, President and CEO, sees it as a real way to enhance the image of manufacturing. Today, there are 10 partner employers in West Michigan.
AMP is a progressive learn-and-earn educational program that uses formal and on-the-job training to jumpstart the careers of young talent, from apprentices to engineers. Applicants are first hired by a partner employer, like Autocam, and then begin work according to a preset program schedule that begins each fall – working three to four days a week and attending classes two days a week at partner community college, GRCC. AMP provides a common curriculum based on core skill requirements and offers a range of electives for advanced manufacturing specializations. The program is designed to be a personalized track, where participants can choose to advance their careers through continued education, and may pick up where they leave off at any time. The educational opportunities range from certification to associate or bachelor’s degree with partnering schools like GRCC, Ferris State, and Grand Valley State.
“We believe the foundation to our success is talent development” said John Kennedy. “ Offering the AMP program free ensures participants get the training they need to be successful without the cost of education as a barrier to our talented Michiganders looking for a rewarding career in advanced manufacturing.”
While in the program, participants not only receive free education but earn hourly wages as a valued member of the sponsor company’s workforce. In just over two years, AMP students graduate with an associate degree, debt-free, with good paying jobs that allow them to earn upwards of $40-50K per year. Or, they can choose to continue AMP to earn a bachelor’s degree in engineering, advancing both their career and earning potential.
Autocam, whose global headquarters is in Kentwood, Mich., is a worldwide manufacturer of precision-machine components for all major OEMs and Tier 1 automotive suppliers. Autocam specializes in high precision components for emerging fuel system technologies, including gasoline- and diesel-injection, alternative fuels, cylinder de-activation, and other technologies critical for mandated fuel economy improvements. The company has 14 manufacturing facilities and employs more than 2,000 highly skilled employees in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia. For more information, visit autocam.com.