CAMAC Brings Advanced Manufacturing Apprenticeship Opportunities to California

Guest post by Tracy DiFilippis, Sector Strategies Manager/Apprenticeship Coordinator, Goodwill Southern California

At a time when the middle-skills gap has garnered an enormous amount of attention, and patience is waning from industry, workforce, and economic systems, apprenticeship is making a return to “Made in California” manufacturing! This is NOT ‘old-school’ apprenticeship. This is 21st Century, hybridized, competency-based, apprenticeship. Let me explain.

The California Advanced Manufacturing Apprenticeship Collaborative (CAMAC) is a partnership between industry, community colleges, ToolingU, and Goodwill Southern California. CAMAC is a US Department of Labor (DOL) registered apprenticeship that incorporates 16 occupations into a set of standards. The partners agree to the Pattern Standards of Apprenticeship and Goodwill acts as the administrative glue, coordinating activity and ensuring compliance to the program.

The best part about this particular collaborative is that the record keeping is facilitated by Goodwill, alleviating the burden for companies to perform certain tracking functions. Most of the tracking will be automated by SME/ToolingU’s signature tracking system, making this highly appealing to employers. Additionally, ToolingU contributes competency models detailing both on-the-job learning and related technical instruction that bring rich and relative content to the advanced manufacturing environment.

The initial response to CAMAC has been very positive. Nine companies representing a mix of the ‘backbone’ type of small to mid-size aerospace & defense companies have signed on to begin their apprentices in February 2017. College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita has stepped up to partner with ToolingU in delivering instructional content. The length of apprenticeship will be contingent upon the occupation chosen.

Current occupations include: (1, 2, 3, & 4-year models)

  1. Assembler, Metal Building O*Net – SOC Code: 47-2221.00
  2. Fabricator-Assembler Metal Prod O*Net – SOC Code: 51-2041.00
  3. Industrial Manufacturing Technician O*Net – SOC Code: 17-3029 .09
  4. Machinist (NIMS Certified) O*Net – SOC Code: 51-4041.00
  5. Machinist O*Net – SOC Code: 51-4041
  6. Machine Operator I O*Net – SOC Code: 51-4081.01
  7. Material Coordinator O*Net – SOC Code: 43-5061.00
  8. Mechatronics Technician O*Net – SOC Code: 49-2094.00
  9. Metal Fabricator O*Net – SOC Code: 51-2041.00
  10. Molder O*Net – SOC Code: 51-4071.00
  11. Numerical Control Machine Operator O*Net – SOC Code: 51-4011.00
  12. Tool Programmer, Numerical O*Net – SOC Code: 51-4012
  13. Welder O*Net – SOC Code: 51-4121.02
  14. Welder, ARC O*Net – SOC Code: 51-4121.06
  15. Welder-Fitter O*Net – SOC Code: 51-4121.06
  16. Welding Machine Operator, ARC O*Net – SOC Code: 51-4122.01

What makes CAMAC unique? Several things make CAMAC a distinctively strong apprenticeship model. First, it allows for access to eligible pre-screened candidates, on-going technical assistance, and in all cases, access to special workforce funding that specifically supports apprenticeship. Secondly, participation is low risk as it allows companies to get their feet wet with the earn-and-learn model without having to bear the burden of administrative aspects. Third, companies are able to join a west-coast apprenticeship movement in a high-demand industry. Additionally, the apprentice credential is honored in every state in the nation.

A joint paper by the Department of Commerce and Case Western Reserve University recently published, “The Benefits and Costs of Apprenticeship – A Business Perspective” – November 2016. The Benefits and Costs of Apprenticeship

The paper provides key findings in three areas:

  1. Production: Companies gain the value of output by apprentices and later by apprentice graduates, plus a reduction in errors.
  2. Workforce: Companies experience reduced turnover and improved recruitment, gain a pipeline of skilled employees, and develop future managers.
  3. Soft skills: Apprenticeships lead to improved employee engagement, greater problem-solving ability, and flexibility to perform a variety of tasks, and a reduced need for supervision.

Come join the employers who are already a part of CAMAC!

There is still time to join this first cohort of companies.

If you have or know of companies with an interest to learn more about CAMAC, please contact Tracy DiFilippis at or #323-477-3923 website:

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