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How IMA is Helping Fill the Manufacturing Jobs Pipeline

Updated: Apr 23, 2020

Most likely you've heard a lot in the news about the impending skills gap. With Baby Boomers retiring, manufacturers will have need to fill numerous positions. The Indiana Manufacturers Association's workforce initiative - The Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education (INFAME) is working to ensure that a pipeline of highly skilled workers will be available to meet the needs of Indiana’s manufacturing industry. The initiative builds on the state’s efforts to help students pursue career and technical education and to help employers establish a pipeline of talent.

The Indiana Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education (INFAME) works with regional manufacturers and educational institutions to implement a dual-track program that includes both classwork and hands-on training. When students complete the course they earn an associate degree and can move seamlessly to a bachelor’s degree program, and they will have two years of relevant, paid job experience they can take immediately into the workplace.

The nationally-recognized FAME model, where INFAME originated, currently operates in nine states. In Indiana, local INFAME chapters are giving businesses the chance to work with the IMA on educational programs that meet their specific needs. And higher education partners Ivy Tech Community College and Vincennes University are providing tailored associate degree programs that allow students to move into bachelor’s degree programs if they choose.

INFAME's starting point is the Advanced Manufacturing Technician (AMT) program. The AMT curriculum includes electricity, fluid power, motor controls, maintenance of industrial equipment, programmable log

ic controllers (PLCs), welding, machining, drawings, robotics and troubleshooting. Students are also equipped with personal development skills such as attendance, communication, innovation, teamwork, and interpersonal relations. In addition to classwork, students get practical work experience at an area manufacturer. AMT also teaches students safety culture, workplace organization, lean manufacturing, machinery maintenance and reliability and problem solving. Employers who participate in the program can tailor educational programs to their specific needs.

According to Matt Linville, HR Director at Zimmer Biomet, and a member of both the IMA Board of Directors and the INFAME Board of Directors, “This initiative allows those of us in manufacturing to have direct input on developing the skills we need in our future employees. The opportunity to build on the AMT and other workforce offerings through INFAME is exciting, and will offer Indiana manufacturers the flexibility needed to keep pace with the changing demands of the industry.”

For more information about INFAME, visit

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