Rapid Training

Rapid prototyping, rapid tooling, rapid manufacturing—so why not rapid workforce training, but with a real purpose?

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Rapid prototyping, rapid tooling, rapid manufacturing—so why not rapid workforce training, but with a real purpose? 

While working on the education/training feature on page 26, which focuses on the workforce development efforts of three trade associations, I learned about another group committed to securing manufacturing jobs for veterans, the disabled and other underserved communities. The U.S. Tech Education Center (USTEC) offers a free 10-week CAD training program focused on teaching students only what is of value to companies within the placement program.

USTEC, based in San Jose, California, is the brainchild of Stephen Samuel, PE, and was formed as a way of giving back to those who served and because he understood that everyone does not get the opportunities in life that he has gotten. Stephen holds a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Massachusetts and a certification in professional engineering from the state of California, and founded Design Visionaries in San Jose, which has been providing high-end design services and CAD training for 24 years.

USTEC is committed to creating a pipeline of talent into the high-tech sector by providing rapid workforce-based training and employment. Students of the program come from underserved demographics, but there is a special emphasis on the veteran community. This is because Stephen believes the growing population of veterans demands that we identify both the immediate and future needs of our former service members and implement effective solutions for meeting them. This includes employment.

To meet this need, USTEC programming focuses on CAD, CAM, CAE and PLM, as well as specialized training in industry-specific and company-specific uses of these tools. Corporate culture and business communication soft skills are also included. Partnerships with manufacturing corporations are key to creating career pathways into manufacturing companies that offer high-quality jobs. 

The curriculum includes mechanical engineering basics; basic, intermediate and advanced modeling assemblies and drafting; industrial design surfacing and analysis; sheet metal; stress and deflection calculations; kinematic analysis; toolpath generation; intermediate PLM; and business communication. 

To identify students who will be successful in the program, rigorous mechanical aptitude tests are given and full scholarships are offered. All of this is made possible through donations and USTEC sponsors, including Design Visionaries and Siemens. To date, the program has placed two students with medical device and microchip companies. To learn more about USTEC, visit ustec.org and designviz.com.