The online platform, introduced by MxD with the help of university partners, is designed to shape the workforce of the future

November 10, 2022

CHICAGO—MxD (Manufacturing x Digital), the nation’s digital manufacturing and cybersecurity institute, reported that it launched the MxD Learn Virtual Training Center (VTC) with the release of several new courses.

The Virtual Training Center is an online platform that gives students, workers, and employers access to a vast amount of information to assist with training, recruitment, content development, and other professional development tools. These tools will empower the industry to develop the manufacturing workforce, encourage the use of cutting-edge technologies, and secure the resiliency of their organizations and supply chain, MxD said in a release.

The courses were created by North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (NC A&T), the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), and Drexel University, in partnership with MxD Learn, the workforce development arm of MxD, according to the release.

“Over the next decade, nearly 4.2 million manufacturing jobs will be needed in the U.S.,” said Lizabeth Stuck, senior director of workforce development at MxD, in a statement. “The MxD Learn Virtual Training Center provides access to courses and tools to educate the workforce of today and tomorrow, and will help potential employees develop the skills needed to fill open positions in the manufacturing sector.”

According to MxD, its academic members played a critical role in the launch. North Carolina A&T developed a course that provides a comprehensive introduction to internet of things (IoT) and related technologies, and common issues in the adoption of IoT on a large scale. The course includes IoT history, common definitions, underlying technologies, and challenges. It covers technological advances in IoT, as well as implementation considerations, novel solutions for common implementation issues, and critical application domains, including digital and smart manufacturing.

“The Center of Excellence in Product Design and Advanced Manufacturing (CEPDAM) at North Carolina A&T collaborated with the Extended Campus and other departments to develop cyber manufacturing curriculum toward a certification in smart manufacturing,” said CEPDAM Director Salil Desai, Ph.D., in a statement. “MxD’s Virtual Training Center makes our courses like ‘Industrial Internet of Things’ and ‘Cybersecurity for Digital Manufacturing’ accessible to a national audience. This enhances our efforts to deliver cutting-edge education to the workforce.”

The University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) developed the Cybersecurity for Manufacturing Operating Technology (CyMOT) course based on MxD’s digital manufacturing jobs taxonomy and Hiring Guide for Cybersecurity in Manufacturing. The course is intended to help manufacturing professionals increase their cybersecurity skills and protect manufacturing plants from cyber breaches, according to the release.

“The Virtual Training Center is a rich repository of courses, modules, and exercises,” said Nilanjan Banerjee, professor, Computer Science and Electrical Engineering at UMBC, in a statement. “I think it is exactly what the manufacturing sector needs to get upskilled in cutting edge areas, such as cybersecurity for operational technology, and machine learning and artificial intelligence in digital manufacturing.”

Drexel University’s Digital Design and Advanced Manufacturing Program (D3-AMP) is an education and workforce development program for professionals working in engineering related industries. The overall objective of the program is to guide participants through a digitally connected design path that includes all stages from conceptualization to the final manufactured product. The first course, available on the VTC and meant to be complemented by an in-person component, is an introduction to the program and the relevant CAD software, MxD said in the release.

“The VTC development and deployment of a part of D3-AMP clearly showed me that the platform is aligned with current needs for remote and interactive learning, while being suitable for use by workforce having varying levels of experience,” said Antonios Kontsos, professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering & Mechanics at Drexel University and Director of the D3-AMP program, in a statement. “In addition, it promotes the concept of digital transformation, as it showcases the use of modern online and cloud-based tools to interconnect several components of advanced manufacturing which are rapidly developing. This is the way to go in related workforce development efforts.”

In addition to the initial courses, the VTC offers informal webinars and training on Industry 4.0, digital operations, and other topics adjacent to digital manufacturing and cybersecurity.
More information and signup links are available at

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