Workforce Development

Young, skilled workers are the lifeblood of our industry. So why are they so hard to find?

Recruiting and training the next generation is the biggest problem our members face. We constantly hear how difficult it is to fill open positions. Not only are the proper skills in short supply, young people who would do well in our industry have been misled into believing brighter futures lie elsewhere.

At the same time, training our existing workforce— growing their skills and keeping them current on new technology—remains a pressing need.

NTMA is combating these issues through education and awareness, combined with a healthy dose of innovation.

The National Robotics League

Workforce Development

Our flagship program provides a key link between students (middle school, high school, and college), educators and NTMA members. Through robotic competition, students forge partnerships with manufacturers and, as a result, many find bright futures in manufacturing careers. This program falls under federal and state Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) development efforts, and many chapters are eligible for public funding. Not only is it deeply valuable to NTMA’s future but it’s “so much fun, it’s inhuman.”

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Workforce Development

Training your workforce is one of the most critical responsibilities of a company. Without appropriately skilled employees, your company will struggle to meet operational goals. The right training and development opportunities also help you promote from within and retain your talented employees.

For machining roles in particular, apprenticeship programs combine on-the-job training with related instruction to develop highly skilled employees. Once established, programs reduce turnover rates, increase productivity, lower the cost of recruitment, and increase safety in the workplace.

NTMA has developed NTMA-U to provide fully online, high-quality content to remove the barriers that traditional educational institutions often have (price, location, class schedules, etc.).

Currently, NTMA-U offers content that fulfills the related instruction component of apprenticeship programs for roles within precision machining. These modules were developed for precision machining and related occupations by industry experts. The modules cover NIMS content for CNC precision machining, but also go beyond the basics.

NTMA is committed to ongoing evaluations of training needs and of our existing content. We do the work of curating the most relevant, timely and appropriate content so your company can focus on what matters for your success.

Modules are available individually, in groups of three, or in totality (through the purchase of a portal). This offers our members the flexibility to customize their training plans for each of their employees.

Courses cover key content areas such as Shop Safety, Shop Mathematics, GD&T, Blueprint Reading, Precision Machining Technologies, CNC Machining, Manufacturing Processes, Statistical Process Control, Quality and Inspection, Dies and Fixtures, and more.

Key features include:

  • Available anytime, anywhere with an Internet connection
  • Rich, narrated modules with practice problems and assessments
  • Content relates to NIMS specifications, textbooks available
  • Certificates available for download after each module
  • College credit-earning potential, with a partnership with University of Akron’s Mechanical Engineering Technology degree
  • Federal Bureau of Apprenticeship Training Approved

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National Apprentice Program

Workforce Development

This is an ongoing best-practices program at the regional and national levels, offering webinars on technology and techniques that have the potential to affect our entire industry. It demonstrates NTMA’s aim to make employees of small- and medium-sized companies the best they can be.

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Workforce Development

Through generous support by the National Tooling and Machining Foundation (NTMF), our members, and other sources, we are proud to offer scholarship opportunities for students pursuing education that will lead to employment in a manufacturing-related industry. The two available scholarships are the Brock Babb Memorial Scholarship and the Edwin Vobeda Memorial Scholarship.

The Brock Babb Memorial Scholarship is an annual tuition scholarship created by the NTMF in support of students advancing their education and pursuing careers in manufacturing. This scholarship is named in honor and memory of Sergeant Brock A. Babb who gave is life defending our country and our freedom, the son of one of our long time members Terry Babb, Apex Tool & Manufacturing, Inc. in Evansville, Indiana. Download the document outlining the purpose, eligibility requirements, and the selection process, as well as an application. The deadline to submit an application is April 1st of the applicable year. (Extended to June 30th for 2017 only!)

The Edwin Vobeda Memorial Scholarship is an annual tuition scholarship created through a charitable donation to the NTMF from the Edwin F. and Mildred Vobeda Charitable Remainder Trust in support of students residing in theCentral Time Zone advancing their education in a tool and die apprenticeship program to pursue a career in the tool and die industry. Download the document outlining the purpose, eligibility requirements, and the selection process, as well as an application. The deadline to submit an application is April 1st of the applicable year.

For more information on scholarships, please contact Bill Padnos, Workforce Development Manager at 216-264-2828 or at


Workforce Development

This is a regional, self-study training and certification program consisting of a user-updatable Wikipedia-like online database of best practices and success stories. Making this available to members provides them with resources at their fingertips to conquer the challenges they face.

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