Autodesk, NIMS Partner to Develop CAM Workforce

The two organizations are working on the first industry standards to equip students and workers with in-demand skills and credentials.

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Autodesk and the National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) are partnering to develop the first-ever industry recognized Computer Aided Manufacturing/Machining (CAM) standards and credentials.  These standards and credentials are intended to enhance education and training programs to meet 21st century demands for skilled CAM programmers, designers and engineers, which NIMS claims will account for almost 100,000 new jobs by 2024.

According to the organizations, manufacturing competitivness requires maintaining high standards of production at efficient cost while meeting the ever-changing customer demands.  CAM allows manufacturers to efficiently adjust their processes to identify optimal production paths that decrease cycle times, reduce scrapped parts and materials, and improve the quality of finished parts.  Skilled CAM programmers, designers, and engineers with extensive education and training are in high demand to plan, manage, and control these very sophisticated and costly machines. 

“Companies in technologically-advanced industries are becoming much more reliant on the use of information technology and automation through CAM software to develop high-value added products and materials.  In the next decade, nearly a million jobs will require the technical skills needed to operate CAM software,” says James Wall, NIMS Executive Director, .

This partnership is designed to support the advancement of CAM training programs by developing industry standards for educating and training CAM programmers.  To develop these standards, Autodesk and NIMS recruited industry leaders to participate in a Technical Work Group.  The Technical Work Group kick-off meeting was held at AutoDesk Headquarters in San Francisco on June 10 – 11, 2015.  Industry experts from major companies including Google, NASA, DMG / MORI Seiki USA, Haas Automation, Delcam, Parker Hannifin/Sandia National Laboratory, and Monkey Likes Shiny participated in the session and will lead the Technical Work Group.

“CAM software is changing the way companies approach business processes and how educational institutions teach the next generation of programmers and engineers.  It is critical that the skills and knowledge of industry leaders be captured in standards that will serve as the basis for training and educating the future CAM manufacturing workforce,” says Jeff Tiedeken, owner of Monkey Likes Shiny .

 “Autodesk is committed to providing students with the education and technical skills necessary to operate CAM software.  To support this effort, Autodesk provides CAM software for free to educational institutions and students.  Partnering with NIMS in the development of industry recognized CAM standards and credentials is the next step in our commitment to preparing the future generation of skilled CAM programmers, designers, and engineers,” says George Abraham, Director of Industry and Learning Strategy at Autodesk Education. 

After development of the skills standards, NIMS says it will conduct a rigorous national validation process, holding regional reviews of the standards by industrial professionals, before releasing the standards to the public.

For more information on CAM standard and credential development, contact NIMS Director of Marketing, Christine Hubley at (703) 662-4409 or