November 10, 2022 (CHICAGO) – MxD, the national digital manufacturing and cybersecurity institute, today launched the MxD Learn Virtual Training Center (VTC) with the release of several new courses. These courses were created by North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (NC A&T), the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), and Drexel University, in partnership with MxD Learn, the workforce development arm of MxD.
The Virtual Training Center is an online platform where students, workers, and employers can access a vast amount of information to assist with training, recruitment, content development, and other professional development tools. These tools will empower the industry to develop the manufacturing workforce, encourage the use of cutting-edge technologies, and secure the resiliency of their organizations and supply chain.
“Over the next decade, nearly 4.2 million manufacturing jobs will be needed in the US,” said Lizabeth Stuck, Sr. Director of Workforce Development at MxD. “The MxD Learn Virtual Training Center provides access to courses and tools to educate the workforce of today and tomorrow and will help potential employees develop the skills needed to fill open positions in the manufacturing sector.”
MxD academic members play a critical role in this launch. North Carolina A&T developed a course that provides a comprehensive introduction to Internet of Things (IoT) and related technologies, and common issues in the adoption of IoT on a large scale. It includes IoT history, common definitions, underlying technologies, and challenges. The course covers technological advances in IoT and implementation considerations, novel solutions for common implementation issues, and critical application domains including digital and smart manufacturing.
“The Center of Excellence in Product Design and Advanced Manufacturing (CEPDAM) at North Carolina A&T collaborated with the Extended Campus and other departments to develop cyber manufacturing curriculum toward a certification in smart manufacturing,” said CEPDAM Director Salil Desai, Ph.D. “MxD’s Virtual Training Center makes our courses like ‘Industrial Internet of Things’ and ‘Cybersecurity for Digital Manufacturing’ accessible to a national audience. This enhances our efforts to deliver cutting-edge education to the workforce.”
UMBC developed the Cybersecurity for Manufacturing Operating Technology (CyMOT) course based on MxD’s digital manufacturing jobs taxonomy and Hiring Guide for Cybersecurity in Manufacturing. The course is for manufacturing professionals to increase their cybersecurity skills and to protect manufacturing plants from cyber breaches.
“The Virtual Training Center is a rich repository of courses, modules, and exercises,” said Nilanjan Banerjee, Professor, Computer Science and Electrical Engineering at UMBC. “I think it is exactly what the manufacturing sector needs to get upskilled in cutting edge areas such as cybersecurity for operational technology and machine learning and artificial intelligence in digital manufacturing.”
Drexel University’s Digital Design and Advanced Manufacturing Program (D3-AMP) is an education and workforce development program for professionals working in engineering related industries. The overall objective of this program is to guide participants through a digitally connected design path that includes all stages from conceptualization to the final manufactured product. The first course, which is available on the VTC and is meant to be complemented by an in-person component, is an introduction to the program and the relevant CAD software.
“The VTC development and deployment of a part of D3-AMP clearly showed me that the platform is aligned with current needs for remote and interactive learning, while being suitable for use by workforce having varying levels of experience,” said Antonios Kontsos, Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering & Mechanics at Drexel University and Director of the D3-AMP program. “In addition, it promotes the concept of digital transformation, as it showcases the use of modern online and cloud-based tools to interconnect several components of advanced manufacturing which are rapidly developing. This is the way to go in related workforce development efforts.”
In addition to the initial courses, the VTC contains informal webinars and trainings on Industry 4.0, digital operations, and other topics adjacent to digital manufacturing and cybersecurity. Additional information and signup links are available at mxdusa.org/vtc.
MxD (Manufacturing x Digital) is where innovative manufacturers go to forge their futures. In partnership with the Department of Defense, MxD equips U.S. factories with the digital tools, cybersecurity, and workforce expertise needed to begin building every part better than the last. As a result, our partners increase their productivity, win more business, and strengthen U.S. manufacturing. MxD is also the National Center for Cybersecurity in Manufacturing as designated by DoD.
Mackie Hill, Marketing & Communications Manager