Altair’s Free CAE Software Training Program Helps More Than 250 Displaced Michigan Engineers Broaden Skills, Increase Employment Marketability

Altair Engineering announced that more than 250 displaced Michigan engineers have successfully completed its Professional Workforce Initiative (PWI) program.

Launched in December 2008 and solely funded and administered by Altair, the year-long program provided displaced engineering professionals with free computer-aided engineering (CAE) training and free software licenses of HyperWorks, Altair’s advanced engineering simulation software suite. The program has already helped more than 10 percent of the participants obtain employment.

Altair recognized the impact of the economy on the engineering community and the need for engineers to expand their skill set to stay competitive in the job market.

“As a Michigan-based company that relies upon the retention, talent and experience of the state’s engineering workforce, the PWI program provided us with a vehicle to help those negatively impacted by the economic downturn to transition into emerging and high-demand professions,” said Altair Chairman and CEO James R. Scapa. “As with all philanthropic initiatives, the key to success is the passion and dedication of the people involved in their willingness to help others. This is without a doubt what our PWI team demonstrated and I personally congratulate and thank them for their hard work to make this program a success."

To date, for every 20 engineers that took advantage of the program, one participant was able to secure employment with a regional engineering firm or manufacturer, including Altair Engineering directly, as well as automotive OEMs.

“The PWI program really helped displaced workers like me refresh our skills and learn new ones to compete in the job market,” said Kao Yang. “Upon completing the training courses, I began getting interviews and secured a position as a Medical Engineer with BAE Systems. I commend Altair for its generosity and corporate citizenship and feel that the training I received from the PWI program truly enabled me to stand out above other job candidates.”

The Altair PWI program also inspired several engineers to return to school to pursue advanced degrees in such areas as alternative energy and information systems.

Over the course of the last 12 months, the PWI program delivered more than 50 CAE training classes that spanned modeling and visualization, linear and noise-vibration-and-harshness (NVH), crashworthiness and safety analysis, and multi-body dynamics (MBD) simulation. Degreed engineers who were displaced from their jobs in Michigan, as well as engineers who were on unpaid leave from area manufacturers that suspended operations, were eligible to participate in the program.

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