The first Additive Manufacturing cohort has graduated from the Accelerated Training in Defense Manufacturing (ATDM) program. This new track was added in November 2021 and is an important addition given the growing significance of the new technology in advanced manufacturing.
Students in the Additive Manufacturing track earned several credentials including OSHA 10 and a Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt. They are waiting on certification results for Certified Additive Manufacturing Fundamentals, which is issued by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, and Autodesk Certified Associate in CAD for Mechanical Design, which certifies skilled use of Fusion 360 CAD software.
Daniel Hyler, a Pittsylvania County native, who graduated from Chatham High School in 2021, completed the first CNC Machining track last summer and just completed the first Additive Manufacturing track this month. “It has been very helpful, and a lot more than I thought,” said Hyler. “The more I learned, the more I wanted to learn. I would recommend it. The environment is the best. The teachers work well with you.”
After completing the CNC Machining ATDM track, Hyler started working for FasTech as a CNC Machinist in October. Now, he will use his skills learned in the Additive Manufacturing track to help him in his job where he runs CNC mills and additive manufacturing machines.
“The entire group was really driven,” said James Hubbard, who served as the instructor through Danville Community College, an ATDM instructional partner. “We didn’t know what to expect – several didn’t even know what modeling was – but now they’re modeling assemblies and intricate things of that nature. Their skill sets will allow them to get a job in any modern manufacturing environment.”
Another student Rashida Grear, from Norfolk, Va., who works at Mid-Atlantic Regional Maintenance Center (MARMC) and is an active-duty sailor in the U.S. Navy also praised the program. “MARMC is trying to learn more mass production methods of operation,” said Grear. “We do things very manually, but we are getting newer equipment to train sailors on.” Grear stated that her ATDM training will prepare her for her role on a team that will be dedicated to 3D printing which will be extremely beneficial.
In addition to the Additive Manufacturing track graduates, the second cohort from the ATDM Welding, Metrology/Quality Assurance and CNC Machining tracks also graduated in March.
The ATDM program is specifically designed to help adult learners with varying educational and workplace experiences earn the skills necessary to make an immediate impact in the defense industrial base. The four-month curriculum is designed to offer the skills and nationally recognized credentials directly requested by the industry.