Workforce development

Education empowers people and opens doors to great careers. We’re creating opportunities with rewarding educational and job training programs.

employees in classroom


In Russia, we are helping train students for careers in manufacturing by having them actually do it.


The jobs of the future will require workers all over the world to upgrade their skills. To prepare the communities in which Alcoa operates to be globally competitive, the Alcoa Foundation is focusing on projects that provide education and training opportunities in engineering and manufacturing. Every day, we’re helping people set the stage for self-sufficiency in an increasingly challenging world.


Institute of International Education - Technical Education Program



In Russia, we are helping the Institute of International Education support the training of college students in technical disciplines. The Technical Education Program advances STEM through stipends, equipment purchases and teacher support. It’s all aimed at better preparing students for successful careers in a variety of technical fields.


The program expects to fund 50 student and 13 teacher stipends at universities in Moscow, Samara, and Rostov-on-Don and support approximately 20 underserved students at technical training colleges. To date, we’ve invested over  US$1.5 million to provide scholarships to more than 365 engineering students and stipends to 52 young faculty members for research and publications.

Engineers Without Borders



The Millennial generation wants to pursue careers in which they can "do well by doing good." The three-year partnership provides engineers and engineering students with opportunities to apply their knowledge on social impact projects. To date, more than 150 engineering students leveraged their skills in community-based projects located in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, India, Kenya and Nicaragua. The impact of students’ time and expertise will result in an improved quality of life for an estimated 7,000 people. Examples of projects include rainwater catchment and dam repair, solar water heaters, applied technology and vocational-educational opportunities, and renewable energy.

The Manufacturing Institute



America’s community colleges are a valuable resource, offering high quality skills training and certification in high-demand fields. The Alcoa Foundation is helping to support efforts to build a stronger, more employable workforce through them.


More than 80 percent of manufacturers report a skills gap for positions, particularly in mid-skills positions that generally require postsecondary education and represent an important rung in STEM career ladders in manufacturing. The issue is particularly acute in the aerospace industry, a growing sector that entails increasingly sophisticated manufacturing processes and automation. We’re partnering with The Manufacturing Institute to address this gap.

The Manufacturing Institute is working with community colleges in regions focusing on the aerospace sector to align training programs to industry certifications. By doing so, community colleges can define direct pathways into aviation careers and help forge a stronger national workforce.

Hope Street Group



The jobs environment has changed. Employers are having difficulty finding the right people at the right time to fill their open positions or advance in their careers. Conversely, individuals are struggling to communicate how their knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) fit particular jobs, and find it challenging to enhance their KSAs to grow and advance in their selected fields.


What is needed is an operating system that uses standardized, accepted competencies and informed by robust data collection systems. Hope Street Group will work closely with a select group of advanced manufacturers to develop bottom-to-top validated competency definitions for high-demand skilled manufacturing jobs to enhance successful selection practices and employee productivity/satisfaction, while subsequently spreading these practices throughout the entire manufacturing industry to ultimately inform the development of an open source national competency validation center.

SME Education Foundation



The SME Education Foundation is committed to addressing the shortage of manufacturing and technical talent in the United States. Through Alcoa Foundation’s support of PRIME (Partnership Response In Manufacturing Education), we have created and fostered strong partnerships between high schools and the local manufacturing base providing a comprehensive, community-based approach to manufacturing education.

PRIME schools receive funding to provide support through curriculum updates, equipment upgrades, continuing education for instructors, hands-on manufacturing based camps for students and more. PRIME Ignite recognizes the need of industry to engage more of their future workforce in building manufacturing talent from the education system in the community they operate within. We connect the resources of the industry to schools willing to expand existing career and technology programs to reach exemplary status, thus creating immediate contributors for the local and regional manufacturing base.