Become the Manufacturing Workforce of the Future

Operation Next is now available at no-cost to small to medium sized manufacturers and job seekers in Pittsburgh who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This support is provided by LIFT with a grant from the National Institute of Standards and Technology [NIST].

Operation Next features an accelerated, hybrid curriculum that combines virtual learning online through simulations and multimedia with hands-on, performance-based learning on real-world manufacturing equipment.

Not sure which path is best for you? We can help!

How OpNext Works

NO COST Hybrid Virtual Learning and Lab-Based Training:


– Select from one of three majors that will prepare them for the most in-demand advanced manufacturing jobs: 
CNC Machine Operator, Industrial Maintenance Technician, or Welding.
– Complete training at their own pace, combining virtual learning and hands-on training on real industry equipment. Hands-on training delivered by local educational providers.
– Earn nationally portable industry-recognized credentials.

CNC Machinist Pathway

This pathway prepares personnel for the role of CNC Operator aligned to National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) industry standards. 

This track includes online training and hands-on training provided by New Century Careers.

Welding Pathway

This pathway prepares personnel to become entry-level welders and is aligned to American Welding Society (AWS) SENSE Level I: Entry Level Welder Standards. 

This track includes online training and hands-on training.

Industrial Maintenance Technicican Pathway

This pathway prepares personnel for one of two tracks – Mechanical Maintenance Technician or Electrical Maintenance Technician. This pathway is aligned to NIMS Industrial Technology Maintenance industry standards.

This track includes online training only.


Operation Next is now enrolling trainees for July, August, and September 2021.
The cost of both online and hands-on training is offered at no-cost by NIST and LIFT.

More Cohorts will begin throughout the year.

Online Training: Self-paced

CNC Machine Operations Pathway Hands-On Training: New Century Careers (located in Pittsburgh, PA) will be assisting trainees with obtaining two NIMS credentials : NIMS Benchwork and Layout and NIMS Measurement, Materials and Safety.

Training times: Monday – Friday 10a-2p (4 weeks), Mon/Wed Evenings 4p-10p (8 weeks)

Welding Hands-On Training: Welding Training will be held at Pittsburgh Technical College. The training will run Mon- Thurs. From 5:45 – 10:30pm for 7 weeks. The hands-on training will start Monday Oct. 25th.

Are you interested in this NO COST training? 

For questions or additional information regarding the program and enrollment, please contact: 

Mara Peduto – Consultant, Workforce Development