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Aligning Education and Industry: The Aims-Alquist 3D Collaboration

Alquist 3D, an innovative 3D printing construction company, is partnering with Aims Community College to incorporate its technology into the curriculum and train the workforce.

Alquist 3D Robot Demo at Aims

Alquist moved its company headquarters to Greeley earlier this fall. The City of Greeley and the State of Colorado incentivized Alquist to move its base to Greeley through more than $4 million in tax credits and funding. The company brings new technology, green jobs, and affordable housing solutions to Northern Colorado. 

Bridging the Skills Gap

A skills gap is the disparity between the skills employers are looking for in candidates for a specific job and the skills those applicants have. It is widespread in fields such as industrial technology and careers that require skills with new and emerging technologies. This was top of mind when Alquist Founder and Chairman Zack Mannheimer and the Alquist 3D team were looking for a location for its headquarters, and Aims Community College helped Greeley stand out from other proposed sites. 

As this partnership was forming, Mannheimer connected with statewide and local officials to make sure all bases were covered, including the ability to find and train people to begin careers with Aliquist. One of these leaders was Colorado Governor Jared Polis, who recalls the importance of Aims to the equation. “When I asked Zack why Colorado, there’s a lot of great reasons to bring a company to Colorado, but the number one is the partnership with Aims Community College on workforce,” Polis said. 

“Companies everywhere are struggling with attracting the workforce with the people with the skills they need to fill open jobs.”  

Alquist’s arrival will:

  • Create 79 new jobs in the region within the next eight years
  • Lower construction material costs by 10-15 percent in the first year and up to 30 percent in the following years
  • Help build 40-50 new homes in Greeley in the next year

State-of-the-Art Technology and Workforce Development

Aims is developing new academic pathways to train learners to operate 3D printing construction technology and be ready to enter the workforce within weeks. The college is integrating 3D printing equipment and operations into its existing Construction Management program, the Aims Computer Aided Drafting (CAD) and Industrial Technology programs. It will also have courses that will be part of the 3D printing curriculum. This will open doors to new high-paying careers and give students a head start in this rapidly growing industry. 

“Aims is looking ahead to empower the future,” said Dr. Leah L. Bornstein, Aims Community College CEO and president. “Aims prioritizes creating new and enhancing existing opportunities for our learners to increase their competitiveness in fields that are in high demand by business and industry.”  Mannheimer sees 3D-printed homes as the future of construction and this partnership places Aims students on the cutting edge. “We are innovating the construction world. We still build homes today the same way we have for the past hundred years, with hammers and nails,” Mannheimer said.

“If I've learned anything in this industry for this amount of time, it's that young people don't want to swing a hammer, but they do want to play with one of those giant robots. That's the fun part. This is how we get young people back into the trades.”

Alquist RIC Printer in Action

Mannheimer is enthusiastic about training future Alquist employees at Aims. “Nowhere else on the planet can boast that they will soon be assembling 3D robots, creating a carbon-neutral material, having a national showroom, printing homes and infrastructure, and most importantly, having a first-in-the-nation workforce development curriculum created right here at Aims Community College.” 

Senator Michael Bennet is also excited about what Aims brings to the table. “This partnership is going to be an extraordinary one. It will be a national model, and I think the human capital that's reflected here at Aims is the reason why this project is here,” Bennet said. “We have high hopes for what Aims is going to be able to do as a partner of this project.”

The collaboration between Alquist 3D and Aims creates new opportunities for students to reap the benefits of industry-oriented training. This forward-thinking partnership symbolizes transformation in the face of rising skills gaps, invigorating a much-needed change in the dynamics of the construction industry and paving the way to a greener, more efficient, and technologically advanced future.

Watch for more news and updates about Aims' partnership with Alquist 3D in the coming months.