With spending cuts targeting trade programs and insufficient funds from annual grants and industry donations, schools continue to suffer with providing hands-on students with technical and mechanical skills. This problem of underfunding stems from a more serious problem that involves a lack of skill building and training for mechanical/technical pursuits. Here to help fight that problem is the American Center for Student Run Manufacturing Businesses (ACSMB). A leader in the fight for providing students with mechanical skills, ACSMB continues to make great strides in the pro-trades arena. We at Leading Edge Industrial (LEI) have provided information about the mission of ACSMB below, and we will continue to support them with our highly capable and affordable CNC machines.
What is the ACSMB and What is its Mission?
The ACSMB was formed in order to provide mechanically inclined students with a STEM-based apprenticeship program. This program functions in five schools, and they operate as an actual manufacturing shop—providing students with training, skills, and real-life shop experience while producing items for real clients. By operating as an actual business, this non-profit organization is able to keep their program operations running, while simultaneously providing valuable skill sets. The ACSMB has patterned with local manufacturing businesses to receive information and support, allowing them to become fixtures within their communities.
Can the ACSMB Benefit Your School?
Though the ACSMB started in Wisconsin, this program has recently been adopted by Brown County High School in Nashville, Indiana. Since these businesses are self-sufficient, they allow trade programs to expand and grow—attracting kinesthetic learners who seek technical and mechanical training. If your school district is struggling to provide funding for career and technical education, the ACSMB program could be the right fit for you. By teaching students machinist skills in a real shop environment, students are workforce and further-education ready. For more information regarding the workings of the ACSMB, visit their website.
How Does LEI Support Career and Technical Education?
We at Leading Edge Industrial understand how beneficial it is to provide young minds with mechanical and technical skills. High school students are the future innovators and creators of tomorrow, therefore they need machinery to practice on and experiment with. To aid programs like the ASCMB, LEI designs and manufactures full-CNC machines that are highly capable, affordable and portable—perfect for up and coming shops and for students who are beginning to master the trade.
Can Programs like the ASCMB Help with the “Skills Gap” in America?
In the past few years, the United States has stood witness to an increasing “skills gap” within our country. This means that thousands of jobs that require technical and mechanical skills go unfilled, because people do not possess the skill set to perform them. This “skills gap” issue is encompassed by a larger problem, known as the “training gap.” The “training gap” is fueled by funding cuts to mechanical and technical programs, as well as a multi-decade shift away from the trades seen in the US. In order to combat these skills gaps, programs like the ASCMB are training America’s technically inclined youth in the trade fields, as well as promoting technical careers. The ASCMB hopes to encourage more students to become more involved in the mechanical field, thus helping to close the “skills gap.”
Will the “Skills Gap” Ever Close?
Though the “skill and training gap” remains a huge problem, the US is beginning to once again recognize the great importance of manufacturing—still, many schools rely on annual Perkins grants or outside companies to donate manufacturing items, tools, and stock. Simply relying on grants or donations is not a viable option for many school districts, so what can be done?
Place Increased Importance on Career and Technical Education
In the last blog published by LEI, we discussed how schools can encourage students who are active learners to enroll in technical training. By placing more attention and focus on technical pursuits, we can form a culture in which machinist training is as widely accepted as more standard career choices. As more students seek training in the trades, more funding will become available. With programs like the ACSMB leading the way for machinists’ education, we will begin to see a decrease in the “skill gap” in the near future.
For more information about LEI’s portable, highly capable CNC machines, or about program funding for programs like the ACSMB, visit Leading Edge Industrial today!