Episode 5: Journey to the Future Through Industry-Education Partnerships

Brynt Parmeter and Emily McGrath, NextFlex
and Tate, FlexFactor participant, guests
May 2019 | 00:23:01
Episode 5 Transcript and Show Notes

How can industry inspire students to envision themselves working in advanced manufacturing? And how can colleges attract and recruit students into existing high-tech career pathways programs? One approach, FlexFactor, combines strategic collaboration between organizations and student-led experiential learning to spark interest and spur recruitment.



The program reaches students—the workforce of the future—through plant and college tours and problem-solving activities that can be integrated into classroom instruction in any subject. The industry and academic partnerships encourage students to consider potential careers so that they can make informed decisions about career pathways that will lead them to become competitive hires.

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Episode 4: Design Thinking for Gender Equity

Alexa Frank and Rachael Munkacsi, Deloitte,
and Hope Cotner, CORD, guests
April 2019 | 00:28:52
Episode 4 Transcript

We struggle so often in our classrooms and in the larger educational systems to encourage women to participate and when they do participate, to persist in technology programs. Technical program enrollments seldom have more than 20% women. On the industry side, high tech also faces challenges in gender equity. It is a critical issue for both education and industry as we face the future of work.

Deloitte, one of the world’s largest management consulting firms, has been very active and forward-thinking in providing insights to future of work discussions. Lessons learned from their work on designing equality in the workplace can be applied to the classroom environment and are potentially scalable to department and college levels.

In this episode, we discuss how strategies for encouraging equitable representation of women in high-tech industry sectors might be replicable in STEM and technology programs at two-year technical and community colleges. Guests Alexa Frank and Rachael Munkacsi, Deloitte, and Hope Cotner, CORD, discuss how some of the lessons learned from Deloitte’s work on designing equality in the workplace translate to the classroom environment.

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Episode 3: One of the Key Things to Measure — OEE

Mariano Carreras, SMC International Training, guest
March 2019 | 00:19:17
Episode 3 Transcript

A gap may exist between industry practice and what our students learn and practice in our education environment if they don’t learn about Overall Equipment Effectiveness. Today nearly every industry is digitally transforming itself whether they’re producing biopharmaceuticals, semiconductor chips, corn chips, or cellphones. The accompanying high levels of automation and sensors monitoring every process and every piece of equipment generates an unbelievable amount of data. This data can help answer the questions, “How efficient are we?” And “Can we be better?”

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Episode 2: Who Owns the Skills Gap?

Al Carlson, University of Florida, Innovation Station, guest
February 2019 | 00:14:46
Episode 2 Transcript


Over the last ten years, the skills gap has increasingly been the subject of business roundtables, government agency forums and think tank research. Employers report struggling to find new workers with the skills they need. This means that both entry-level employees and incumbent workers need upskilling. Our guest in this episode says that if you think you’re going to hire somebody off the street that knows how to press every button, forget it. So who owns this skills gap?

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Episode 1: Preparing Technicians for the Future of Work

Michael Lesiecki, host
January 2019 | 00:15:02
Episode 1 Transcript

As technology evolves so tasks and occupations transform. We know that demand for some positions involving tasks that can be automated are going to decline and in some cases disappear, while entirely new occupations will emerge. When we say technology, what the technologies are we talking about? We mean advanced manufacturing, engineering technology, biotechnology, information and security technologies, including cybersecurity, and agricultural and environmental technologies. Every one of these technologies focuses on the fields in which we need a skilled technical workforce.

For many of today’s technicians the Future of Work is already in focus. They are cross-disciplinary workers, immersed in diverse platforms and interrelated systems that once belonged to single industry sectors. This podcast series will explore the horizons of work from the perspective of industry partners, two-year college educators, technicians and NSF ATE leaders who are working together to transform technician education.

This week our podcast host introduces some of the challenges in hiring and training workers in a rapidly changing workplace

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