Detroit public schools buy Fanuc robots for new advanced-manufacturing training

 In News Article

Two Detroit schools got robots as the city district aims to extend its job-training pipeline.

Detroit Public Schools Community District paid around $280,000 to get eight training machines installed at Denby and Pershing high schools through a certification program offered by Rochester Hills-based supplier Fanuc America Corp.

Fanuc adds the two Detroit schools to the list of around 70 in Michigan where it has implemented Certified Education RobotTraining programs, Detroit Public Schools Community District said in a news release.

Districts pay for the robots — at prices around 70 percent lower than industry — and Fanuc provides around $325,000 per school worth of services, said Paul Aiello, executive director of CERT education for Fanuc. It trains and certifies instructors, provides curriculum, and provides e-learning material and software.

Fanuc and DPSCD unveiled the robots in a press event Monday at Pershing High School. They were installed this month.

Training high schools on industry-standard robotics equipment, the American subsidiary of Japanese Fanuc Corp. aims to show them there’s a future in manufacturing — advanced manufacturing. Often students think robots take away jobs.

“(We’re) trying to get them to see the difference,” Aiello said. “There’s a tremendous growth in manufacturing and surrounding automation.”

Juniors and seniors at Denby and Pershing can enter the program as an elective course, starting this fall, according to a DPSCD news release. It is intended to help prepare them for jobs in skilled trades, post-secondary schooling and to take a national exam to get a Fanuc robot operator certification, the release said.

Denby and Pershing are among Detroit high schools that don’t yet have a defined career pipeline program, DPSCD spokeswoman Chrystal Wilson said. Superintendent Nikolai Vitti started a push this summer to assure all schools have them, she said.

“As a district, we recognize it is our responsibility to ensure our students have access to curriculum and training that reflects today’s workforce, and an education that prepares them to compete in the skilled trades industry or prepare them for a successful college pathway,” Vitti said in the release.

Fanuc plans to expand its metro Detroit presence with a new $51 million robotics facility in Auburn Hills. It expects to create 100 jobs there and open in November 2019, according to a news release.

Its robotics certification program, CERT, is used in 822 high schools nationally.

More job skills-focused training in fields including technology and manufacturing comes as the state and employers aim to steer more young people to once-stigmatized skilled trades.

For more on the robotic tools Fanuc provides to schools, visit its website.

Read the original article here.

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