Partnering with AmeriCOM

AmeriCOM has been designated by the U.S. Department of Defense to make investments that will achieve the mission goal of developing optic manufacturing technologies, testing equipment, and the specialized materials required to support scalable manufacturing. We will look to our nation’s optics industry to help drive and execute a research and development agenda with the goal of achieving sustainable manufacturing operations. In parallel, we will increase the pipeline of skilled optics technicians using a collaborative ecosystem model that fosters collaboration between educational institutions, optics manufacturing companies, and a range of nonprofit and community-based organizations.

We welcome inquiries from organizations that are interested in partnering with us – the American Center for Optics Manufacturing – in building our nation’s precision optics industry and its workforce.

Partners in Education

At the core of the AmeriCOM ecosystem model are community colleges and other vocational learning centers that offer programs in optics technician training. In our work together, we are raising awareness of optics as a career path across all age groups and recruiting students into certificate, degree-granting, and apprenticeship programs. Join us and be part of our key initiatives, such as:

  • Implementing an established Optics Technician curriculum to support one-year certificate-granting programs, two-year associates degree-granting programs, dual-enrollment programs with high schools, and 2+2 enrollment programs with universities that offer advanced degrees in optics.
  • Convening regional optics manufacturing clusters, the members of which serve as advisors to the community college optics team. Optics companies help source equipment for labs, provide candidates for adjunct faculty and lab technicians, provide funding for student scholarships and faculty endowments, and participate in events that promote the optics technician career path.
  • Managing optics awareness marketing campaigns and conducting outreach activities with area school districts, regional science museums and other cultural organizations, STEM-related clubs and organizations, and work training centers.
  • Facilitating “learn while you earn” apprenticeship programs for career advancement.

Is your learning institution a potential AmeriCOM partner? Please use the inquiry form below to start a conversation with us.

Education Partner Form

Partners in Optics Manufacturing

Precision optics manufacturing companies across the United States are facing a critical shortage of optics technicians. In 2019, the supply of optics technicians was well below demand, with 98% of open positions going unfilled. AmeriCOM is facing this challenge head-on and intends to increase the supply of skilled technicians by a factor of 16 – from 50 technicians per year (2019 figure) to 800 per year by 2025. Collaboration with industry is vital to meet our ambitious goal. With support from AmeriCOM, there are numerous ways that optics manufacturers can help including:

  • Joining the advisory board of the optics technician training programs in your region and provide the financial support needed to endow professorships, fund support staff, and offer scholarships to students.
  • Identifying employees who can teach optics courses as adjunct teachers and lab support staff
  • Spreading the word about the optics industry and the numerous career paths it offers by attending regional job fairs and hosting tours of your optics facilities
  • Including an optics apprenticeship program as part of your long-term hiring strategy.

Collaborating with AmeriCOM is a win-win for companies in need of optics technicians. Complete the inquiry form below and a member of our Workforce Development team will contact you.

Optics Industry Partner Form

Partners in the Community

Optics technicians work with scientists and engineers in manufacturing and in research facilities assisting with the design, manufacture, and testing of optical components and systems. They have strong kinesthetic skills and may have backgrounds in the visual arts, gaming, music, automotive and bicycle mechanics, and the culinary arts. Future optics technicians come from all backgrounds – high school graduates pursuing a vocational or a college-bound path, adult learners returning to the workforce or seeking job advancement, veterans, and more. AmeriCOM is partnering with community-based organizations that serve these audiences, with the shared goal of advancing awareness of the field of optics and providing living-wage jobs that lead to sustainable and fulfilling careers. Our collaborations include working with:

  • Nonprofit organizations that provide workforce development and career training services
  • Community-based organizations that serve youth and their families
  • Science museums and other organizations that host programs in “STEAM” (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) fields
  • Public school districts at the middle and high school levels.

Interested in collaborating with AmeriCOM to help direct people into a career in optics? Complete the inquiry form below and a member of our team will contact you.

Community Partner Form