Lost your job and looking for something to give you an edge
amidst all of the other job seekers? A new SolidWorks
initiative extends a hand to displaced designers and engineers, offering up a
free version of the 3-D CAD tool in the hopes of giving job seekers a chance to
develop new skills that might help revitalize their careers.
Engineering Stimulus Package includes a 90-day license of the SolidWorks
Student Design Kit software for non-commercial use along with training videos,
tutorials, networking forums, a certification program and career resources. The
offer, originally announced in February at SolidWorks World 2009, comes at a time
is at a 25-year high at 8.5 percent and 3.3 million jobs have been lost in the
last five months – 161,000 jobs eliminated in the manufacturing sector alone just
this past March.
"We're seeing a lot of unemployment in this economic
downturn, especially in the manufacturing sector," says Oboe Wu, SolidWorks'
global product manager for SolidWorks Premium. "We're looking to help
participants sharpen their 3-D skills and put them in a stronger position in
this competitive job market."
Currently, the SolidWorks Engineering Stimulus Package is
only available for U.S. or Canadian residents. In addition to the core
SolidWorks package, the offer includes the SolidWorks eDrawings email-enabled
file-sharing tool, hands-on test drives and training from participating
SolidWorks' resellers along with access to the SolidWorks Customer Portal for
support, networking opportunities and discussion groups. More than half of
SolidWorks' North American VARs have agreed to offer hands-on test drives and
some will offer advanced training options to help participants get up to speed
on the software.
One of the highlights of the program is free testing to
become a Certified
SolidWorks Associate, a credential that establishes competency in the
software and could be viewed as a differentiator for prospective job candidates.
To help participants gear up for the certification test, SolidWorks is serving
up tutorials on 3-D skills, along with many other training tools.
For Reid Bader, who hasn't officially been trained as an
engineer, but is interested in pursuing that path, the SolidWorks certification
could be just the springboard needed to facilitate a career change. Up until
last December, Bader, who holds a degree in physics, was the owner of a small
heating and mechanical systems construction company, doing a lot of work in
AutoCAD as part of collaboration with architects. When business fell off in the
fourth quarter, Bader was forced to shutter his company and went looking for
resources that could help land new job opportunities in engineering and design.
"When you don't work, it's time to sharpen the blade," Bader says. "I'm a big
believer in computer certifications. This lets me get the training I need
without having to go back to grad school."