Kellie Valentine had been employed as a senior mechanical engineer at General Dynamics for the last seven years. She became unemployed when the Bloomington, Minn., facility closed. Valentine says that while employed, she did not receive any training in finite-element analysis (FEA) because there were a few individuals in her group who specialized in simulation and analysis using Ansys software.
So to stay on top of her career, she signed up for classes at engineering-software reseller, Applied Engineering Inc. in Maple Grove, Minn. Valentine says that Minnesota pays unemployed workers up to $3,000 for their training. However, it turned out that the state’s program requires the participating facility to obtain a “WF-1 code,” something no Ansys training-accredited facility has. The state, therefore, denied her the funds.
But there is a happy ending: According to Ansys, Canonsburg, Pa., it now offers free training in any of its offices (as space permits) for any unemployed U. S. engineer.
“This is wonderful,” says Valentine. “Most large companies in this area use Ansys. So when firms start hiring new employees, it seems likely they might start with workers who have taken the initiative to get themselves trained. The Ansys Web site makes it simple to sign up. And the staff is great to work with!”