SEVERE WX : Dense Fog Advisory View Alerts

Skilled to Work: New additive manufacturing facility aims to grow workforce using local colleges, high schools

Carpenter Technology's Emerging Technology Center allows them to manufacture metal products from atomizing metal powders to printing the final products.

Posted: Dec 5, 2019 11:46 PM
Updated: Dec 10, 2019 12:37 PM

The additive manufacturing industry in the Tennessee Valley added a new member to its midst: Carpenter Technology. The company officially opened its new Emerging Technology Center in Tanner, Alabama, this week.

The 500,000 square foot facility is adjacent to Carpenter's existing facility, which opened in 2014. 

Carpenter Technology displays some of its newest equipment in its Emerging Technology Center on Wednesday. Carpenter Technology displays some of its newest equipment in its Emerging Technology Center on Wednesday.

Some its newest employees are graduates of Calhoun Community College's additive manufacturing program.

"I was actually going for my degree in welding and I had to take a drafting class for that degree. And I just fell in love with drafting. So I decided additive is the new up and coming manufacturing and I wanted to be in it," said Michael Moore, a Tech 3 AM operator with Carpenter.

The 31-year-old graduated from Calhoun over the summer and started working at the new ETC. The building allows Carpenter to not only atomize metal powder, but also to manufacture that powder into finished parts with its 3D printing technology. They said that end-to-end capability makes its facility stand apart from others in the United States.

"We’re trying to create an area of expertise where we have the engineers being able to understand that full end-to-end process so that we can really start to develop those solutions for our customers," said Ben Ferrar, the general manager for Carpenter Additive.

Representatives with Carpenter Technology said as they work to grow its facility, they will greatly benefit from being across the street from Calhoun.

"That’s where Calhoun plays such a vital role in that, in kind of that skilled to work format. They see what’s going on in our industry, they know the skills that we want, so they’re designing programs to meet those skills so that we can go and get those skilled individuals right out of these programs and put them right to work," said James America, the vice president of human resources.

While there isn't a specific breakdown of the number of additive manufacturing employees in Alabama, market analysis by SmarTech Publishing said the as of 2018 it's a $9.3 billion industry after growing by 18 percent. Ferrar said within 10 years, it's projected to be an industry worth a quarter of a trillion dollars.

"The real challenge that this industry faces is the ‘how.’ How are we going to convert these opportunities into the reality where this digital technology takes over as the premier manufacturing technology," said Ferrar.

Back in October, Calhoun re-branded its additive program as the Alabama Center for Additive Manufacturing Excellence." Calhoun's head additive instructor Nina Bullock said Calhoun and Carpenter will be sitting down at the start of next year to craft a new partnership.

She said it may bear some similarities to the FAME program.

"I would see us sitting down at a table and saying, ‘Hey, are there other classes that we’re not teaching right now that your students that are going to be working there need?’" said Bullock.

Carpenter said the ETC is projected to add 60 new jobs over the next five years. They said because there is also a good amount of unused space at the site, they have plenty of room to add future developments. 

Huntsville
Broken Clouds
57° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 57°
Florence
Clear
57° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 57°
Fayetteville
Overcast
56° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 56°
Decatur
Clear
55° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 55°
Scottsboro
Overcast
57° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 57°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 136055

Reported Deaths: 2364
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson19752350
Mobile13449292
Montgomery8852184
Tuscaloosa8654118
Madison792778
Shelby601349
Lee592760
Baldwin552650
Marshall396143
Calhoun353444
Etowah352145
Morgan331428
Houston292021
Elmore267348
DeKalb243221
St. Clair233036
Walker231984
Talladega217129
Limestone211920
Cullman190720
Dallas179126
Franklin178129
Autauga177325
Russell17633
Lauderdale172333
Colbert166626
Blount161715
Escambia161124
Chilton158830
Jackson158111
Covington140327
Dale139244
Coffee13596
Pike120510
Chambers116842
Tallapoosa116485
Clarke110016
Marion96829
Butler91339
Barbour8857
Winston74512
Marengo72420
Pickens66614
Bibb65610
Lowndes65427
Randolph65413
Hale64428
Geneva6344
Lawrence62123
Cherokee61213
Bullock60614
Monroe5908
Clay5878
Washington55913
Perry5416
Crenshaw54032
Conecuh53611
Wilcox53211
Henry5075
Macon48318
Fayette4628
Sumter43819
Cleburne3825
Lamar3702
Choctaw35112
Greene30315
Coosa1723
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 192995

Reported Deaths: 2377
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby30953459
Davidson26630306
Hamilton951995
Knox949779
Rutherford936189
Williamson531036
Sumner486598
Wilson351945
Putnam334940
Montgomery311144
Unassigned30425
Out of TN298627
Bradley296217
Madison292164
Sevier263815
Blount253524
Maury240924
Washington232836
Robertson222535
Sullivan219733
Hamblen193926
Tipton183219
Gibson170423
Trousdale16667
Hardeman158226
Wayne14995
Dyer138714
Bedford136417
Dickson127415
Coffee125413
Cumberland121718
Weakley120519
Fayette120419
Anderson120013
Obion119110
Henderson118924
Loudon11846
Carter117728
Greene116144
McMinn114625
Jefferson113014
Warren10757
Lawrence106713
Macon106721
Monroe105218
Hardin104716
Lauderdale99416
Haywood99221
Franklin9899
Lake9252
Roane9055
Carroll89920
McNairy89618
Bledsoe8624
White8479
Rhea84412
Hawkins82218
Cheatham81510
Marshall7785
Overton7586
Cocke7549
Smith73111
Johnson7262
Chester64310
Giles63117
Henry6289
Lincoln6241
Hickman5938
DeKalb57014
Crockett54219
Marion5338
Decatur5307
Fentress5263
Campbell4544
Claiborne4425
Polk39910
Grainger3863
Union3642
Benton3379
Jackson3315
Morgan3203
Grundy3095
Cannon2920
Unicoi2891
Humphreys2583
Sequatchie2381
Clay2335
Meigs2283
Houston2243
Scott2172
Stewart2142
Lewis2041
Moore1791
Van Buren1660
Perry1530
Pickett1232
Hancock1083

Community Events