IFI Announces USDOL Recognized Apprenticeship Program


IFI Announces USDOL Recognized Apprenticeship Program

INDEPENDENCE, OHIO (June 27, 2023) – The Industrial Fasteners Institute (IFI) has announced it is starting the development of a groundbreaking new apprenticeship program for machine operators that will be recognized by the U.S. Department of Labor. This program will address the pressing issue of a workforce shortage in the fastener manufacturing industry. With an increasing number of skilled machine operators retiring each year transferring their knowledge and expertise to the next generation has become critical. IFI has partnered to develop the apprenticeship program with the Marshall University Advanced Manufacturing Center (MAMC) in West Virginia. Marshall’s MAMC is well-versed in developing manufacturing apprenticeship programs, having successfully written and implemented multiple such programs across the country today.

“The shortage of workers in fastener manufacturing will not resolve itself independently. Each year, our industry continues to lose skilled machine operators to retirement. That knowledge must be passed on to the next generation,” stated Dan Walker, Managing Director of IFI. “IFI and its members have decided to roll up our sleeves and create an apprenticeship program for our industry to help solve this ongoing problem.” 


Under the leadership of IFI’s Chairman, Gene Simpson of Semblex Corporation, the development of this program represents a significant collaborative effort. Simpson stated, “An initiative as important as this needs to be driven by a group like the IFI. Many companies have programs that work well, but these are individual efforts with a heavy burden and mixed results. By leveraging IFI’s collective knowledge and resources with the help of Marshall University’s Advanced Manufacturing Center (MAMC), the goal is to create a program that will create consistency and results for use by the entire industry.” 


MAMC’s Apprenticeship Works, the National Advanced Manufacturing Apprenticeship Partnership (https://www.rcbi.org/industry/apprenticeships/), assists companies nationwide in developing and implementing DOL Registered Apprenticeships in more than 20 occupations. Apprenticeship Works is funded entirely through a $4.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor – Employment & Training Administration. 


“We are honored that IFI has chosen our proven apprenticeship model to help develop a pipeline of skilled talent for this important manufacturing sector,” said Derek Scarbro, MAMC’s interim director. “The fastener industry is a critical link in the supply chains of key sectors, from automotive and aerospace to defense. Creating a highly qualified workforce is imperative to strengthening American manufacturing.”

About IFI

The IFI is an engineering-oriented association addressing the operational concerns of its members and representing the North American fastener manufacturing industry to a variety of internal and external stakeholders. IFI is involved in setting industry standards with SAE, ASTM, ISO, and others, as well as developing and publishing its own standards in response to member issues.

For more info go to: https://www.indfast.org/


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