Meghan Summers West to Focus on Manufacturing Education in HTEC 2015 Keynote Address

CNC Software's newly appointed president, Meghan Summers West, will be heading to California Polytechnic State University July 27-30, to deliver a keynote address focused on manufacturing. During her presentation at the 2015 National HTEC Conference, West will focus on the need to "Acquaint, Convince and Excite (ACE) the Next Generation of Manufacturing."

"The need for manufacturing jobs over the next few years will be high," West said, "but formal programs that combine on-the-job learning with classroom education is dropping. This creates an obvious skills gap that needs to be addressed."


Meghan Summers West

"Getting Teachers in the Pipeline is Our Number One Issue," said Richard Katt, State Director Career Education

The Nebraska Department of Education recently looked at career education in the state, and the teacher shortage was a primary area of concern. State and local officials say it’s a perfect storm of sorts: A resurgence of interest nationally in career and technical education driven by a need for skilled workers in health, technology, agricultural and manufacturing fields; years of shrinking industrial education programs in high schools and in the number of college programs training those teachers; and large numbers of veteran teachers nearing retirement.

“Getting teachers in the pipeline is our number one issue,” said Richard Katt, the state's Director of Career Education.
State and local officials say the shortage is critical not just in rural areas -- where programs are at risk of shutting down -- but also in Lincoln and Omaha.This year there were 18 openings for career and technical education teachers across the state. To date, just four have been filled, said Eric Knoll, who was hired last fall to restart a skilled and technical education program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln cut in 2009 as a money-saving measure.

Rockwell CEO - Manufacturing Needs to Reach and Teach Younger Students

Manufacturers and educators need to focus on students in elementary schools to develop the pool of innovators who will carry U.S. businesses through an era of disruptive change, the chairman and CEO of Rockwell Automation Inc. told business leaders.

Programs like the FIRST Lego League and the FIRST Robotics Competition, both supported by Rockwell, are the pathways to attract youths to manufacturing and overcome the biggest challenges facing industry, Keith Nosbusch said at a monthly meeting of the Greater Milwaukee Committee. “Today, first and foremost, it’s about talent and talent management around the world,” Nosbusch said, in identifying the strategic priorities for today’s CEOs. “Having the best and brightest is the way to be competitive in an intellectual capital business.”

Uniting the HVACR Industry Around Education

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the HVACR industry will grow by nearly 34% over the next decade while 31% of our workforce retires. 

As the HVACR industry tries to figure out how to recruit and replace two thirds of its workforce, the problem worsens. There are 78 million baby boomers set to retire and only 40 million Millennials to replace them.
If the HVACR industry can recruit the same proportional share of the workforce as it has in the past, there will be roughly half as many people to employ in the future as there were in the past.
The role of recruiting and training all of these technicians will fall upon our industry’s educators. Regardless of your role in the HVACR industry, your success is tied to theirs.
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New Pathways to Career and College - MDRC Report

The debate about high school reform is increasingly focused on the role of career-technical education (CTE) in helping to prepare ALL students in BOTH postsecondary education and the workforce. The stand-alone vocational courses into which high school students with lower academic achievement were often channeled are becoming a thing of the past. Instead, programs that merge CTE, rigorous academic coursework, and career exploration opportunities, while creating clear pathways through high school, college, and beyond, are gaining momentum. This report describes some of the most prominent of these "pathway" models, identifies localities where the approach has gained the most traction, discusses the underlying principles that characterize the most promising programs, and briefly presents the evidence of their potential to make a difference. The report concludes with a set of recommendations for future investment to strengthen and scale such programs.

Student and Teacher Create Business Around 3D Printing

Mark Holstrom was driving trucks for a living and contemplating a change of career path more than six years ago. During an off hour, Holstrom said he caught an episode of Conan O’Brien in which the host was showing a digital face made from a three-dimensional printer.The Bossier City man’s interest was piqued, but at the time he didn’t know just how much digital art would impact his future. A few years later, Holstrom was enrolled at Bossier Parish Community College studying graphics engineering when he met his future business partner, Mark Hopper. Hopper was a teacher at BPCC and both shared an interest in the school’s 3D printer. “I did a couple of projects at BPCC, and from there Matt and I decided we needed to start this company because it’s growing and it’s not going to go away,” Holstrom said.

Bringing STEM Education Into The Classroom - How are we doing so far? - A Survey

A new survey of district and building-level STEM supervisors and educators reveals how the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) or other updated science standards, as well as STEM learning goals, are influencing STEM education decisions or purchases. The 2015 Business Report: National Survey STEM Education, from IESD, Inc. and STEM Market Impact, surveyed 5,002 K-12 district and school science and STEM supervisors and teachers online. While benefits of bringing STEM into classrooms are often touted, this survey shows there are still gaps in execution. Ultimately, if teachers don't have the resources or PD opportunities to effectively teach computer science or finish a lab experiment, there's a limit to how effective these efforts can be. Figuring out how to bring adequate STEM education into schools has been a challenge that many in the education space and the tech world are looking to meet.

CAD/CAM "Rocks" at Macomb Community College

When Gary Walters, Professor of Applied Technology at Macomb Community College, rocks out on his beautiful electric guitar, he has the satisfaction of knowing it is one of many created by his talented students. Walters is part of the Applied Technology & Apprenticeship department and runs the advanced manufacturing program, known as ATAP (Applied Technology Advanced Processes). “I developed this program in 2004,” says Walters, “after meeting Bob Skodzinsky from Haas who said if we updated our curriculum, Haas would provide the CNC machines. We became a Haas Technical Education Center (HTEC) and never looked back. This put us on the map with regard to hiring interest from manufacturing companies in the region.” Macomb offers fourteen courses related to CNC, including basic G and M code programming, machine setup and operation, and Computer Assisted Machining (CAM) programming. Students can earn an Associate of Applied Science degree, as well as two coveted certificates, CNC Machinist (entry-level operator), and CAM Technologist (entry-level programmer). Their 4,000-square-foot shop area contains manual mills, lathes and surface grinders for teaching the basics, in addition to five Haas CNC machining centers, three Haas CNC turning centers, two EDM machines, two 3D rapid prototyping printers (Fused Deposition Modeling), an Epilog laser engraver, a Zoller offline tool pre-setter, and a hand-held scanner for reverse engineering. “In addition to the machines we own,” says Walters, “Haas entrusts machines to us, currently a machining center and a live tooling turning center.”


CTE Pathways Encourage Self-Directed Collaboration at Fulton County Schools

When a senior career and technical education (CTE) student at Riverwood International Charter School in Atlanta, Georgia, reached out to the founders of his favorite software program, Code Avengers, he never dreamed the New Zealand startup would hire him as a design consultant.  But for Malik Kimbrel, who learned web coding in class through the “gamified” learning environment provided by the software, joining the startup team for a remote assignment was an incredible opportunity.  Self-directed learning experiences like Kimbrel’s are happening every day in metro Atlanta’s Fulton County Schools through the county’s 32 CTE pathways. Teachers are adjusting to a different dynamic in the classroom, too. “Students team up on major projects by claiming specific roles, such as application developer, graphic designer and project manager,” says June Campbell, computer science teacher at Riverwood and Fulton’s IT Pathway specialist. “It’s gratifying to watch student enthusiasm as they work together using the design cycle. They generate solutions by combining knowledge and techniques of both computer and design technology.” Riverwood has quickly embraced this collaborative culture through a range of subjects, and students are responding with more engagement than ever.

MTConnect Student Challenge Sponsored by Association for Manufacturing Technology and Office of the Secretary of Defense

College students with an interest in bringing together software and hardware solutions to improve manufacturing operations now have an opportunity to leverage their creativity and innovative know-how through the MTConnect Student Challenge, a competition that invites submissions for both ideas and applications utilizing the MTConnect standard. The MTConnect Student Challenge is offering a total of $33,000 in cash prizes for winning submissions. MTConnect is an open-source, XML-based communications standard that fosters connectivity between manufacturing equipment and devices. This Challenge builds on the success of previous competitions that sought submissions from industry professionals related to the use of MTConnect. The MTConnect Student Challenge is open to community college and university students at the undergraduate and graduate level and may be of particular interest to students who are studying manufacturing-related fields; electrical, mechanical or industrial engineering; as well as software engineering and IT-related studies.

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