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 youth 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.

Through BotsIQ,

  • 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 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.

What’s the problem?

There is currently a significant skills and awareness gap in manufacturing. Companies across southwestern Pennsylvania cannot find qualified workers to fill their current positions. This problem will only get worse as it is compounded by a rapidly aging workforce.

  • The manufacturing workforce is already older – and aging faster – than the overall U.S. labor force.
  • By 2035, for the first time in U.S. history, retirement-age Americans will outnumber Americans under 18.
  • By 2030, manufacturers estimate over 4.5 million open positions across the United States and more than 2 million of these positions could remain unfilled.

Why is it important?

Pennsylvania’s manufacturing industry has long been the backbone of the state’s economy and continues to play a critical role in designing, machining, and producing complex components.  Today, more than 14,000 Pennsylvania-based manufacturers contribute over $90 billion annually to the economy and offer jobs with an average annual wage over $75,000. Yet, the manufacturing industry faces a significant challenge– the lack of skilled employees to meet their workforce needs. Now in the midst of its fourth revolution, manufacturing needs employees with advanced technological and problem-solving skills.

The Future?

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.

Interested in learning more?  Contact Michel Conklin ([email protected]) or visit our Programs page.

Thank you to our sponsors

This site was funded by a generous grant from the Allegheny Foundation.