Indiana Spends $1 Billion on Workforce Development Annually

Just after 4 p.m. on a recent afternoon, Neal Allman was cleaning up the work area around the Haas vertical machining center he'd been working at for the day. The mills, primarily used to machine-cut metal pieces, are a key piece of the advanced manufacturing industry and not enough Hoosiers know how to work them. He was also keeping an eye out for Gov. Eric Holcomb, who had just finished touring Vincennes University's Haas Technical Education Center, where Allman is in the sixth week of a 15-week course called Right Skills Now CNC Machining. 

Holcomb was kicking off a tour of similar facilities around the state, looking for examples of what the governor would like to see Indiana embrace as the state prepares to overhaul its workforce development initiatives next year. "You don't have to recreate something that's working, but you can expand on it," Holcomb said. "We're looking at 2018-19 as a pivotal time for the state of Indiana."

By the time Allman and his six classmates finish their course, they will have earned up to nine different industry credentials and will be ready to go to work operating a computer-controlled machine in an automotive, health care or other manufacturing facility. 

Fixing Automated Vehicles

As automated vehicles slowly populate selected urban areas, the question persists: Who will repair and maintain these robotic and technological marvels? "It's not something that immediately comes to mind when we think about all the research and development that comes with automated driving," says Kay Stepper, vice president of driver assistance systems and automated driving at Robert Bosch.

As a first mover in automated vehicle technology, Bosch is addressing a need that might be five or 10 years from reaching critical mass. But automakers, dealers, industry groups and academics agree that a significant gap exists in education and marketing of careers for automated vehicle service technicians.

For the past 18 months at Stepper's direction, Bosch has opened its automated vehicle testing labs in Plymouth, Mich., to electronics students from Schoolcraft College in nearby Livonia.

Virtual Reality - Enhancing Learning Outcomes

Virtual reality (VR) is one of the major contemporary technologies being implemented in teaching today, with examples emerging that hint at how it could play a role in the future of education. It is one of the key innovations that have gathered significant attention, and current examples of VR in the marketplace include HTC’s Vive, Oculus Rift and SteamVR.

As a consumer product, VR is a seemingly magical form of entertainment made possible by emerging technology. The nature of VR changes the way people interact with digital information, including data, knowledge and alternative scenarios. The many potential benefits of VR in teaching are only beginning to emerge.