The American Gear Manufacturers Association (AGMA) converted six classes — that normally occur face-to-face — into online, live courses to meet industry demand of distance learning opportunities. AGMA has always offered a virtual workforce education series free to members through the AGMA Foundation funding, but the new classes give companies the opportunity to have everyone, from the newest machine operator to an experienced engineer, learn.
“Between our members not being able to travel and state-specific guidelines on limiting attendance, we are not confident that we will host a face-to-face class in 2020,” said Matthew E. Croson, president of AGMA. “But, we are pivoting, with the help of committees and member suggestions, and working with industry professionals to develop and transition our trusted gear education to an online platform. And, we have already had success with this already.”
The courses won’t have the “hands-on” components that the in-person experience offers, but the instructors will be teaching live and most of the online programs will be IACET accredited to add value to professional development and give engineers the needed continuing education credits to maintain certifications and licensures
“We know that it is hard to replace the events that take place in person,” Croson added. “But, our world-class instructors are committed to knowledge transfer and will make sure that each student is learning and engaged to develop their needs. This gives our industry the ability to save costs on travel and still receive the best gearing education available.”
As an additional measure to provide industry training, AGMA is still offering on-site education that allows one instructor to go to a plant and teach their workforce – minimizing cost and risk.
“We have been told by many members and gear manufacturers that they are very willing to allow one instructor to come in and teach a course to minimize travel risks to their staff,” Croson said. “This option is great to continue the in-person value, teaching skills directly in your working environment.”