Honda invests $1m is young manufacturers and engineers
Honda has announced plans to roll out an innovative $1 million workforce development initiative to create interest in manufacturing careers and provide educational and training opportunities to prepare the next generation workforce for high-tech positions in the manufacturing industry. The initiative will be based in Ohio, US.
The new program, called EPIC, is designed to proactively address the skills gap in US manufacturing and includes programs for middle school to community college students as well as initiatives for current manufacturing associates at Honda.
This EPIC program draws its name from the four key areas of the initiative:
- Creating Enthusiasm about manufacturing among middle school students;
- Encouraging Passion among high school students to harness the power of technology;
- Promoting Innovative instruction at two-year colleges; and
- Continuing Commitment to further educational opportunities for Honda associates.
According to a study by Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute, over the next decade, there will be a need for more than 3.4 million manufacturing jobs. And based on continued job creation and an aging workforce, two million of those jobs – nearly 60 percent – will go unfilled because prospective employees lack interest or essential skills.
“This initiative is geared toward creating interest in manufacturing as a career at the middle school, high school and college levels and then providing continued opportunities in the workplace,” said Rick Schostek, executive vice president of Honda North America. “We realize manufacturing has always been key to America's economic strength and we want to implement programs that create opportunities not only for ourselves, but for every company with an interest in U.S. manufacturing.”
As one effort to create enthusiasm among younger students, Honda worked with Edheads, a Hilliard, Ohio educational game developer, to create a first-of-its kind manufacturing video game designed for classroom use. The game teaches logic, critical thinking and takes the user right to the engine manufacturing line where they apply math and problem solving skills to find answers to real world problems.
Other program elements aimed at creating Enthusiasm for manufacturing include:
- Engineering on wheels – Honda is partnering with businesses and schools to facilitate "hands-on" manufacturing activities in six mobile labs. These labs feature production robotics and provide students with an opportunity to experience real-world manufacturing technology.
- Summer STEM "Techie" camps – Honda will work with TechCorps to sponsor full-day, week-long summer camps that will allow students to immerse themselves in STEM-related activities, computer programming, and web and app development, all in a fun-filled environment.
To encourage Passion for manufacturing among high school students, Honda has partnered with two entities to create opportunities including new curriculum, equipment and opportunities to visit Honda facilities.
- Honda will nominate and help fund up to five schools in Union, Logan and Shelby counties to become part of the SME (Society of Manufacturing Engineers) Education Foundation PRIME initiative. The participating schools will receive funding from Honda for advanced curriculum and support of STEM activities.
- Honda is supporting the Marysville Early College STEM High School, which was developed through a collaborative partnership with Marysville schools, Columbus State Community College, Ohio Hi Point Career Center, Honda and the Union County Chamber of Commerce. The project was funded with a State of Ohio "Straight A Fund" grant. Honda has worked with the school to select lab equipment, lay out the space, select an instructor and develop the curriculum for the manufacturing pathway. Honda technicians and engineers are also creating opportunities for the students to learn about these exciting manufacturing careers through tours and know-how sharing.
Honda is also partnering with area two-year colleges to provide incoming high school students with opportunities and Innovative programs.
- Honda is announcing twelve, $2,500 scholarships for students pursuing an associate degree in Manufacturing or Mechanical Engineering Technology from local college institutions (Rhodes State, Columbus State, Marion Technical, Edison Community, Sinclair Community and Clark State).
- Honda will expand the work-study pilot program that it developed with Columbus State Community College. This program allows students the opportunity to work at Honda three days a week, while taking classes two days. This provides students with an opportunity to build technical skills while earning their degrees. Honda will expand the pilot from three students to 18 and work with the Ohio Board of Regents to expand the program to other college partners.
Additionally, Honda's Commitment to providing on-going technical training for its associates is on display with two new technical development centers. These centers provide the opportunity for associates to train on the latest manufacturing technologies and build on the skills and knowledge they have gained throughout their careers. These centers, one for powertrain at the Anna Engine Plant and another for vehicle production near the Marysville Auto Plant, are designed to help operational and equipment maintenance associates gain the expertise necessary for the high-tech machinery utilized in manufacturing settings. Further, a training curriculum includes basic fundamentals as well as advanced training for specialized areas. These training initiatives are part of Honda's commitment to its associates to keep them up-to-date on the latest production technology in the industry.
"The investment we are making in this EPIC initiative is the culmination of many creative partnerships we have forged with educators, businesses and Honda associates to help design this program," said Schostek. "This robust and innovative initiative is designed to be used by Honda and supplier operations in other regions of the country."
Ultium Cells LLC/Li-Cycle: Sustainable Battery Manufacturing
Ultium Cells LLC - a joint venture between General Motors and LG Energy Solutions - has announced its latest collaboration with Li-Cycle. Joining forces the two have set ambitions to expand recycling in North America, recycling up to 100% of the scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing
What is Ultium Cells LLC?
Announcing their partnership in December 2019, General Motors (GM) and LG Energy Solutions established Ultium Cells LLC with a mission to “ensure excellence of Battery Cell Manufacturing through implementation of best practices from each company to contribute [to the] expansion of a Zero Emission propulsion on a global scale.”
Who is Li-Cycle?
Founded in 2016, Li-Cycle leverages innovative solutions to address emerging and urgent challenges around the world.
As the use of Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries in automotive, industrial energy storage, and consumer electronic applications rises, Li-Cycle believes that “the world needs improved technology and supply chain innovations to better recycle these batteries, while also meeting the rapidly growing demand for critical and scarce battery-grade materials.”
Why are Ultium Cells LLC and Li-Cycle join forces?
By joining forces to expand the recycling of scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing in North America, the new recycling process will allow Ultium Cells LLC to recycle cobalt, nickel, lithium, graphite, copper, manganese and aluminum.
“95% of these materials can be used in the production of new batteries or for adjacent industries,” says GM, who explains that the new hydrometallurgical process emits 30% less greenhouse gases (GHGs) than traditional processes, minimising the environmental impact. Use of this process will begin later in the year (2021).
"Our combined efforts with Ultium Cells will be instrumental in redirecting battery manufacturing scrap from landfills and returning a substantial amount of valuable battery-grade materials back into the battery supply chain. This partnership is a critical step forward in advancing our proven lithium-ion resource recovery technology as a more sustainable alternative to mining, " said Ajay Kochhar, President, CEO and co-founder of Li-Cycle.
"GM's zero-waste initiative aims to divert more than 90% of its manufacturing waste from landfills and incineration globally by 2025. Now, we're going to work closely with Ultium Cells and Li-Cycle to help the industry get even better use out of the materials,” added Ken Morris, Vice President of Electric and Autonomous Vehicles, GM.
Since 2013, GM has recycled or reused 100% of the battery packs it has received from customers, with most current GM EVs repaired with refurbished packs.
"We strive to make more with less waste and energy expended. This is a crucial step in improving the sustainability of our components and manufacturing processes,” concluded Thomas Gallagher, Chief Operating Officer, Ultium Cells LLC.