Transportation

Training our Next Workforce Through University, Community College and Career Center Collaboration

The Institute of Agricultural Technology, at Michigan State University, Lansing Community College’s Technical Careers Division and Ingham Intermediate School District’s Wilson Talent Center are preparing the region's next workforce.

The Institute offers nine certificate programs, ranging from landscape and nursery management to livestock industries to turf grass management.

“Students are taking the same courses as bachelor degree students are, even though they’re in the certificate program,” said Erin Bosch, agricultural industries coordinator at the institute. “They’re taking the 100- and 200-level courses to gain knowledge in the industry, to then go, and either immediately get into the workforce, or a percentage of students transfer into the bachelor degree program.”


Amazon Discusses Warehouse Automation and Machine Learning

The Amazon Robotics Challenge was created to inspire the next generation of inventors and we were blown away by what we saw. It was so inspiring to see what these teams brought to the table that it’s hard not to be optimistic about the future of robotics. Brad Porter, V.P. of Robotics at Amazon, about the latest advances in the field and how his team is using machine learning to make its robots smarter. 

There have been so many advances in robotics and yet, we still are in the very beginning stages of innovation and we’re still learning how to best work with robotics. At Amazon, we have to consider the range of inventory items we’re dealing with and when it comes to robotic solutions, that in and of itself, is a challenge for us. We also have to consider the scale in which we deploy robots. It’s great if we test a robot in a small environment and it works perfectly, but we need it to also work in a larger environment without disrupting the entire fulfillment process. I’m so impressed with what my team has been able to achieve in the past few years and I’m excited to see how they overcome these obstacles. 

Amazon Robotics Competition

BMW Investing to Expand its Training in the United States.

BMW seeks to boost the annual number of technicians who graduate from the training centers it owns by around 800, says Denise Melville, department head at BMW Group University. BMW's U.S. dealerships need to add more than 1,500 technicians each year to cover turnover and new positions.

BMW owns training centers at its headquarters in Woodcliff Lake, N.J., and in Ontario, Calif.; Schaumburg, Ill.; Atlanta; Oxnard, Calif. and Spartanburg, S.C.
 
In Atlanta, BMW is building a new campus that will quadruple its training space, Melville says. The new 12,000-square-foot site will have 12 classrooms. The renovated site in Ontario will add 12 classrooms, along with a body and paint shop. BMW also is adding training space at its New Jersey center, and a new building at the Spartanburg training 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.


Caterpillar to Strengthen STEM Pipeline; Drive Innovation in the Workforce

“Through the company’s dedication to building a STEM pipeline, Caterpillar has a long history of supporting FIRST by providing team sponsorship's and valuable mentor-ship from employee volunteers,” said FIRST President Donald E. Bossi. “FIRST is proud to call Caterpillar a strategic partner in our mission to inspire young people to become innovators, leaders, and creative problem solvers. Together, we can help even more students gain both the STEM and soft skills they need to achieve successful careers in the 21st century.”


IBM, Amazon, and Microsoft Now Have Apprenticeship Programs

IBM now has several hundred open jobs in the U.S. for people early in their IT careers — a number expected to grow over time — and is tackling the vacancies with its new apprenticeship program, vice president for talent Joanna Daly said.

 "It's not just IBM," Daly said. "When you look at nationally, there's a half-million open technology jobs in this country and we're only producing 50,000 computer science graduates each year. So for the industry, we have a technology skills gap."

IBM has long had apprenticeships at its operations in Germany, the United Kingdom and Australia, Daly said. The tech giant hired hundreds of people who've completed those apprenticeships, but hasn't pinpointed if the program is mainly responsible for greater talent supply, she said.


More Cars and Fewer People to Fix Them

It's a concern shared by most of the nation's roughly 16,700 new car dealerships whose profits are increasingly reliant on servicing the vehicles they sell, and less reliant on profits from the sales of the vehicles themselves. Dealerships are sacrificing margin on sales in favor of putting more cars on the road. More cars on the road lead to more cars in the service bays, and that means more qualified mechanics are needed.

New car dealerships sold a record 17.5 million new cars in 2016, as well as nearly 15 million used cars: 37 percent of the total of all used cars sold.

Service, parts and body shop activity accounted for 47.3 percent of the average dealership's gross profits in 2016, according to a study by the National Automobile Dealers Association, up from the 45.4 percent the previous year.


Alabama Manufacturing Certifications will Create Educational Pipeline to Jobs

Alabama Community College System is teaming up with the Manufacturing Skills Standards Council to offer industry certifications. Alabama will be the first state to offer the council’s certification across its public colleges, state officials said.

A significant number of people in the state -- about 22 percent of the state’s work force -- are in manufacturing and transportation, said Jeff Lynn, vice chancellor of work force and economic development for the community college system. Yet more coordination was needed, he said.

“Around the state, I didn’t see a steady, strong work-force pipeline plan,” said Lynn.


"Confronting the CTE Stigma" Report from RCU at MSU

“Confronting the CTE Stigma” is a new report developed from statewide surveys conducted by the Research and Curriculum Unit at Mississippi State. Julie Jordan, director of the RCU, said studies indicate that Mississippi students in CTE programs graduate from high school at higher rates than their non-CTE peers. Additionally, CTE prepares students for middle skill-level jobs, “an employment niche where growth is projected to outpace both high- and low-skill occupations.”

In the first phase of the RCU’s study, slightly more than 400 Mississippi adults were interviewed about their attitudes toward CTE. Of that group:

—45 percent were unable to name a single CTE program offered by local schools;

—44 percent said students who were disadvantaged in some way—not college-bound, residing in poverty or having poor grades—would benefit most from CTE participation; and

—48 percent agreed CTE could benefit the college-bound.


President Trump Meeting with Manufacturing CEO's

Bringing manufacturing back to America, creating high-wage jobs was one of our campaign promises and themes, and it resonated with everybody.  It was really something what happened.  States that hadn’t been won in many, many years were -- they came over to our fold.  A lot of it had to do with the jobs, and other reasons -- but jobs.  And I'm delivering on everything that we've said.  In fact, people are saying they've never seen so much happen in 30 days of a presidency.  We've delivered on a lot.  And I think Mark can explain, and Mark can probably say some of the things we're doing for the auto industry.  We're going to be doing for many of the industries.

As you know, the United States lost one-third of our manufacturing jobs since NAFTA.  That's an unbelievable number and statistic.  And 70,000 factories closed since China joined the WTO -- 70,000 factories. 

Trump

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