DWD Deputy Secretary Maxwell Highlights Mechatronics Technician Registered Apprenticeship Launch at WCTC
Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Deputy Secretary Georgia Maxwell highlighted the launch of the new Mechatronics Technician Registered Apprenticeship talent development solution for Wisconsin manufacturers during an information session on Monday at the Waukesha County Technical College (WCTC) – Generac Integrated Manufacturing Lab.
"Under Governor Walker’s leadership, Wisconsin has maintained or expanded investments in innovative talent development solutions, including continued funding for the Registered Apprenticeship program," DWD Deputy Secretary Maxwell said. "Launching Mechatronics Technician Registered Apprenticeship standards in partnership with the Wisconsin Technical College System, WCTC and local businesses provides an effective hybrid training model to upskill apprentices for great careers in advanced manufacturing."
DWD's Bureau of Apprenticeship Standards sought to address the skills gap and training needs in advanced manufacturing by developing the Mechatronics Technician Registered Apprenticeship standards in partnership with Wisconsin Technical College System representatives, WCTC staff and large and small manufacturers from Waukesha County and the region, including: Acieta, LLC, Eaton, GE Healthcare, John Deere, KHS USA, Inc., Kondex, Midwest Engineering Systems, Quad/Graphics, Signicast, SMC Corporation and Waukesha Metal Products, a WCTC employer partner for more than 40 years.
"Manufacturing is ever evolving with technical complexity that requires our technicians to understand mechanical, electrical, hydraulics, pneumatics, computer and controls engineering," said Waukesha Metal Products President and CEO Jeff Clark. "Mechatronics blends all of these skills into one training program that prepares technicians for Industry 4.0. I see Mechatronics-trained technicians as the backbone of the modern factory. This is the apprenticeship program I see playing an important role in keeping our company significant in any future economy."
Mechatronics Technicians support robotics and automation technologies used in modern manufacturing processes for electrical, mechanical and electronic systems. Workers typically troubleshoot, operate and debug industrial computer and communications systems, such as Programmable Logic Controllers and Human Machine Interface technologies. These high skill technicians may machine metal and other materials, fabricate parts and weld components, as well as work in collaborative environments documenting work performed and supporting facilities, utilities and grounds in some companies.
"Mechatronics technicians frequently support automation and robotic technologies and work processes including installing, repairing and maintaining equipment and devices, said WCTC Dean of the School of Applied Technologies Mike Shiels. "The ability to troubleshoot systems involved in manufacturing and process control is critical for this occupation."
Mechatronics Technician Registered Apprenticeship training is a 5-year program of not less than 10,000 hours, including 864 hours of related technical instruction available at WCTC and other Wisconsin technical colleges across the state starting this fall. Apprentices who successfully complete training hours and competency requirements will earn a nationally recognized industry credential and technical college credits that may be applied towards an associate's degree.
Wisconsin's nationally recognized Registered Apprenticeship program annually assists up to 2,500 employers with building customized training solutions in over 200 occupations while helping more than 11,000 new and continuing apprentices earn good-paying, family-supporting wages as they learn a high demand trade. Wisconsin was the first state in the nation to establish apprenticeship law and has continued to drive state and national workforce readiness solutions for more the 100 years. Find more information at: http://www.dwd.wisconsin.gov/apprenticeship/
Waukesha County Technical College, the leader in workforce development, prepares learners for success within the regional and global economy. The College serves nearly 23,000 students annually and offers more than 90 programs of study including associate degrees, technical diplomas, apprenticeships and short-term certificate programs. Customized training is also available for employers. To learn more, visit: www.wctc.edu