National institute focused on robotics looking for members

Staff report


A national institute dedicated to bolstering U.S. manufacturing competitiveness is reaching out to potential partners in the Mahoning Valley.

A representative of Carnegie Mellon University’s recently established Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing (ARM) Institute spoke to a group of university, business and political officials at the Valley Alliance for Science and Technology’s monthly luncheon Friday at the Tech Belt Energy Innovation Center.

“This is a national institute where we all have a deep vision to look at manufacturing differently,” said Jackie Erickson, ARM director of marketing communications. “This is our future. This is our future jobs.”

The ARM Institute, established in January as part of a national manufacturing network launched by the Obama administration, is a public-private partnership partially funded by the U.S. Department of Defense.

The program aims to bring together organizations with ties to manufacturing, with the overall goal of asserting U.S. leadership in advanced manufacturing and finding new robotics solutions.

Erickson addressed a question that frequently accompanies discussions of robotics: How does it affect jobs?

“There’s a way to retrain and prepare for the future. You have to think ahead or you will be left behind,” she said.

ARM would like to have a role in that process, she said, noting the institute has an education and workforce development component.

Part of ARM’s focus is “aiding and sustaining jobs in this area,” Erickson said. “We want to look for the ability to create pathways for job opportunities.”

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