National Tooling and Machining Association: Prepare Students for High-Skill Futures in Manufacturing by Increasing Access to Career Technical Training Programs in High Schools

Association endorses President Trump’s proposal to expand technical training

Cleveland, OH - The National Tooling and Machining Association (NTMA), a leading American precision metalworking association, applauds President Donald Trump's proposal to expand vocational and technical training in America's high schools and stands ready to work with the Trump Administration, Congress and local school districts to support the advancement of training programs that prepare students for high-skill careers in modern manufacturing.


As part of his third State of the Union address on February 4, 2020, President Trump asked Congress to support funding proposed in the Administration's budget that would expand vocational and technical education in high school. The President followed up this commitment with proposing a $900 million increase in funding for Career Technical Education (CTE). Authorized by the NTMA-backed Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins CTE), the increased funding is aimed at achieving the Administration's goal of "ensuring every high school student in America has access to CTE programs that provide multiple, high-quality pathways to success after graduation," according to a White House announcement.

"NTMA and its members thank President Trump for his focus on manufacturing in his State of the Union Address and for increasing funding for CTE programs in his budget," said NTMA President Roger Atkins. "The American manufacturing sector is strong, but one important factor is stifling growth - the skills gap. Companies cannot find workers to fill the more than a half million job openings in manufacturing across the country. The President's proposal would empower students to obtain the skills they need for success in high-skill, highly paid manufacturing careers."

A recent industry survey by NTMA through found that more than 90% of manufacturers are struggling to fill open positions. Other data show that the number of job openings in manufacturer is expected to grow even more in the next decade if there is not a significant investment in skills training.

"The President's proposal reflects the reality of the job market in this country," Atkins continued. "Vital sectors like manufacturing, infrastructure, and transportation are growing - and many of the new jobs that will build America's future require specialized skills, separate from traditional four-year degree programs."

NTMA has long been a leader in innovation solutions to close the manufacturing skills gap and boost employment. This year, NTMA launched AMPED (Advanced Manufacturing Practice & Education Development), a 501(c)3 organization, with a mission to engage, inspire and prepare America's precision manufacturing workforce. With programs from the hands-on learning National Robotics League to the online skills training NTMA-U, AMPED is focused on promoting the opportunities in manufacturing careers and preparing students for success.

"NTMA members are pillars of their communities and champions of skills training," Atkins added. "For many years, NTMA members have worked through partnerships, investments and community outreach to establish pipelines to foster the next generation of manufacturing workers and leaders. We welcome the opportunity to join with the Trump Administration in supporting a renewed focus on skills training. We are ready to help schools set up badly needed machine technology programs - and in hire the students who graduate from them."
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NTMA is the national representative of the custom precision manufacturing industry in the United States. NTMA's has 29 chapters throughout the U.S. and nearly 1,200 member companies that design and manufacture special tools, dies, jigs, fixtures, gages, special machines, and precision machined parts, representing more than $30 billion in sales annually. NTMA members' products and services are vital to the nation's economy, serving industries from aerospace to electronics to nuclear power. More information: www.ntma.org.

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