What is BotsIQ?
BotsIQ is a manufacturing workforce development program of the Pittsburgh Chapter National Tooling & Machining Foundation whose goal is to provide a pathway for middle and high school students to learn about rewarding career options in manufacturing.
Why is it unique?
Identifying and developing a career plan is a challenge for students. BotsIQ holds a pivotal position as a workforce development program that attracts smart, capable students who love to build things and solve problems — exactly the type of people that will comprise the future manufacturing workforce.
- Teams of students work together in a fascinating real-world professional manufacturing model.
- Students gain in-demand technical skills like mechanical engineering and design, electrical engineering, machining, 3D printing, and more.
- Each participating school is paired with a local manufacturing company to serve as their industry mentor and learn about the the potential for a career in manufacturing.
How does the program work?
BotsIQ believes that all students, regardless of their socio-economic background, culture, religion, race, gender or exceptionalities, should be included and have equal opportunities to explore manufacturing and STEM careers. Therefore, all its programs are available to every public and private school, homeschool, and qualified youth organization across the Tri-State Pittsburgh region. Schools interested in participating in one of BotsIQ’s programs are encouraged to schedule a meeting with BotsIQ.
Why is it important?
There is currently a significant skills and interest gap in manufacturing. Companies in southwestern Pennsylvania cannot find qualified workers to fill their open positions. This problem is compounded by a rapidly aging workforce.
- 40% of the manufacturing workforce will be at retirement age by 2020.
- More than 2 million positions in manufacturing across the United States could remain unfilled between 2018 and 2028.
- 90% of parents recognize that a strong manufacturing base is critical to the US economy, but only 30% of parents would support their children in pursuing a career in manufacturing.
- Pennsylvania has the 8th largest manufacturing industry in the country and contributes $84 billion each year to the economy.
BotsIQ has been successful in our initial mission—raising awareness of manufacturing careers— but there’s still work to do. We understand the importance of attracting, preparing and empowering the next generation of manufacturing workers. The simple truth: manufacturing provides rewarding career opportunities and well-staffed companies become thriving companies. That is good for our region, our state and our country.