Today, Siemens announced nearly $660 million of in-kind software grants for manufacturing programs at vocational high schools, technical community colleges and universities throughout Massachusetts. Students will now have access to the same Siemens’ product lifecycle management (PLM) software used throughout the global manufacturing industry to design, develop and manufacture some of the world’s most sophisticated products in a variety of industries, including automotive, aerospace, consumer products, medical devices, machinery, shipbuilding, apparel and high-tech electronics. The series of in-kind grants was established as a result of an industry need for skilled workers identified through the Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MassMEP) and the Manufacturing Advancement Center Workforce Innovation Collaborative (MACWIC), an alliance of next-generation companies working to provide employer-led workforce training initiatives. Siemens Metals Technologies (MT) business, with its advanced manufacturing facility located in Worcester, is a founding member of MACWIC and serves on the steering committee. The academic partnerships are designed to support MACWIC’s Applied Manufacturing Technology Certification Pathway, an advanced manufacturing certification program. “The manufacturing industry in America is on the rise and is being transformed by a software revolution that is enhancing productivity, increasing efficiency and speeding time to market. In Massachusetts it’s the top contributor of gross state product, employing more than 250,000 people,” said Chuck Grindstaff, president and CEO, Siemens PLM Software. “This revolution requires a highly trained workforce. Thanks to support of MassMEP, MACWIC and Siemens MT Worcester, Massachusetts schools will integrate world-class PLM technology into their curriculum, so that students are even better prepared for high quality manufacturing jobs.” Thirteen academic partners throughout the state are receiving in-kind software grants to support curriculum and training programs including: Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), Fitchburg State University, Quinsigamond Community College, Berkshire Community College, Mount Wachusett Community College, Northern Essex Community College, MassBay Community College, Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical School, Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School, Tantasqua Regional Senior High School, Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational High School and Worcester Technical High School. MassMEP, part of the national NIST MEP system, will provide advanced training on Siemens PLM software to automate manufacturing processes with equipment on a plant floor.