Liam James Doyle/University of St. Thomas

St. Thomas Selected for Department of Defense-Backed ACE Initiative in Minnesota

The University of St. Thomas is one of two Minnesota universities selected to be part of an emerging national network of machine tool workforce development centers supported by the Department of Defense.

The Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI), in partnership with the Department of Defense (DoD)’s Manufacturing Capability Expansion and Investment Prioritization (MCEIP) office, announced it is expanding America’s Cutting Edge (ACE) into Minnesota. St. Cloud State University also is part of the expansion.

ACE is a national initiative aimed at revitalizing U.S. manufacturing. ACE, which has regional machine tool training centers in Florida, Kentucky, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia and now Minnesota, provides free online and in-person training in the machine tool industry. 

“We are excited about the impact this program will make in the Twin Cities community,” said John Wentz, director of advanced manufacturing at St. Thomas. “ACE complements St. Thomas’ history of hands-on engineering education and expands our ability to introduce CNC machining to new populations, such as high school students interested in engineering and technology fields.”  

In addition to offering ACE to School of Engineering students, St. Thomas is targeting specific audiences like incumbent workers and veterans. Wentz added, “St. Thomas has prided itself on working closely with Minnesota industry through senior design and research projects, and we’re excited to support their workforce needs through this program.”