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. 


Career and Technical Education Center to Provide High-Demand workforce Training to High School

The Career and Technical Education Center will enable Baton Rouge area high school juniors and seniors to get workforce training in high-demand jobs while also pursuing their high school diploma. It will address two challenges: the lack of skilled workers needed to fill positions at local companies and plants and the gap between young people and well-paying jobs. The center will offer high school juniors and seniors the opportunity to earn a diploma from their regular high school while also receiving workforce training and industry certification in high-demand fields.The dual-enrollment facility is a proverbial win-win for the community and promises to put a dent in one of the area’s most pressing challenges.

The $17 million facility, under construction next to the McKay Automotive Training Center at Ardendale, has been in the works for more than a decade and is the product of a collaborative effort between multiple agencies and organizations led by the Baton Rouge Area Foundation. 


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.”


Students Career Ambitions Shaped by Television, Movies and YouTube

A joint study conducted by the New York Life Insurance Company and Fatherly–an online parenting resource for men–recently surveyed over 1,000 kids under the age of 12 in hopes of understanding their career ambitions as well as the motivations behind them.The study found that the most desired job for children in the U.S. is doctor, followed by veterinarian, though both professions inspired significantly more interest from young girls than boys. The next most desired jobs, police officer and firefighter, were primarily chosen by boys.


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.


STEM EDUCATION IS ABOUT HANDS ON EXPERIENCES

The processes of inquiry, reasoning and collaboration required in STEM learning are similar to any experiential activity; learning activities must be hands-on experiences. STEM classes also demand rigor and relevance in a curriculum, and the students who take these classes must learn to think critically as they use science, technology, engineering, and mathematics to solve real world problems through direct learning experiences.

Reading does not provide the kind of authentic experiences that students need. Students aren’t likely to be motivated by reading content alone, and as a result, their overall academic performance will likely suffer.


Engineering Practices for Effective STEM Learning

“What if schools could offer a different approach to STEM education that provided students with truly immersive learning opportunities?” That question came to Ethan Berman, founder of i2 Learning, after the experience of his nine-year old daughter, who liked school but loved solving problems and making things with her own hands, especially, as she put it, “if it was something useful.”

That was what inspired Berman to found Boston STEM Week, which just concluded its second successful year by replacing the usual curriculum for the more than 6,000 students and 300 teachers across 37 Boston middle schools. During this week, schools replace their usual curriculum with projects aimed at building lunar colonies, creating interactive monsters, designing digital games, and practicing surgical techniques.

 


The Path Less Taken: Barriers to Providing Career and Technical Education at Community Colleges

This report produced by Diane Auer Jones for the American Enterprise Institute, provides discussion on the type of post-secondary degree programs perceptions and significance to earnings. Findings include:

-The earnings associated with post-secondary education vary significantly based on one’s major and career path, among other things.

-Some certificate and associate degree programs in technical and allied health fields at community colleges can result in higher earnings than some bachelor’s degree programs.

-Despite evidence that vocational sub-baccalaureate certificates and degrees have a relatively high payoff, liberal arts and general studies programs have experienced the most rapid growth in community college enrollments and credentials. This may partially explain the mismatch between graduates’ skills and the skills employers demand.

-Community colleges face tremendous structural and policy barriers when trying to create new or expand existing vocational programs, including funding allocation formulas, accreditation requirements, federal regulations, transfer-of-credit policies, and stigmatization of occupational and vocational programs.


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