Level 1 Training and Certifications 

Level 1 programs are for individuals looking to enter the manufacturing field with little to no current experience in traditional or digital manufacturing or those who are looking to grow, strengthen or refresh fundamental future-ready skills needed to be competitive in the field.

Pre-assessment competency review may be required


Manufacturing & Digital Fundamentals Certificate Program


  • Build awareness of the manufacturing field and related topics to set your foundation
  • Understand fundamental design and manufacturing capabilities
  • Strengthen essential skills critical to every work environment, such as critical thinking, communication, problem solving, ideation, teamwork and more
  • Understand quality principles – planning, assurance, control and improvement 
  • Learn about lean manufacturing and concepts for applying it
  • Apply data analysis and visualization to decision making processes
  • Understand various digital design tools and learn the basics of digital twins in a smart manufacturing environment

Participants can complete all four modules or individual modules of interest. Training is provided through weekly, in-person classes over a period of three months.

Level 1 Modules 1-4

Certifications Available:

Completing all four modules will earn a Penn State program certificate and 4.5 CEUs. Completion of individual modules will result in certificates of completion and 1.3 CEUs per module completed. 

Online, interactive assignments each week, powered by Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) ToolingU, These assignments are also a step towards a SME’s Certified Manufacturing Associate (CMfgA) program.

Module Level


All Modules $2,250
Individual Modules (I-III) $695/each
Individual Module IV $199


Certified Manufacturing Associate (CMfgA) Program

Online, interactive and flexible courses, offered through the Digital Foundry at New Kensington and powered by SME ToolingU, help participants progress to a Certified Manufacturing Associate (CMfgA) program recognition and receive preparation for in-demand manufacturing careers. Successful completion of the 25 required, one-hour courses and a final certification exam will result in a nationally-recognized certification from the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME).

  • Industry-driven
  • Nationally-recognized
  • Flexible, online format
  • Engaging and interactive
  • Achievable in weeks
  • Preparation for in-demand careers