Plugging the skills gap: Grant puts technology in hands of students

SME and Siemens team up for a $500K donation to a Florida high school.

12/12/2011


Editor’s Note: Workforce development in manufacturing—the problem of plugging the Skills Gap, as noted in the September issue of Plant Engineering—remains the prevailing issue facing manufacturing. Plant Engineering will continue its focus on this issue each month, highlighting the programs and people involved in finding solutions that help deliver the next generation of skilled manufacturing workers to the industry. We highlight one such effort this month, as well as two additional members of our Leaders Under 40 program.

We invite continued examples of workforce development programs and more nominations of Leaders Under 40. Send your nominations to Bob Vavra at bvavra(at)cfemedia.com.


The SME Education Foundation and Siemens PLM Software have teamed up to provide an in-kind grant of software valued at $538,500 to the Academy of Engineering at River Ridge High School in New Port Richey, Fla.

The in-kind software grant was made through Siemens PLM Software’s GO PLM program, which supports more than one million students annually at more than 11,000 global institutions. The software grant includes free center-based training and free upgrades and tech support for 30 seats of Solid Edge software, a hybrid 2D/3D CAD system.

The Academy of Engineering was established in response to the demands of the workforce to develop prospective engineers. The Academy opened its doors in September 2009 due to the collaborative partnership between Pasco County’s Career and Technical Education Department, River Ridge High School, the Pasco Economic Power Development Council, Pasco Hernando Workforce Board, Business Partners, Pall Aeropower, Micron Pharma Works, and Pasco Hernando Community College. Career Academies prepare students to meet the demands of a changing workforce while providing them the opportunity to remain engaged in the educational process to further their knowledge and skill sets for the 21st century.

The Academy of Engineering partners with Project Lead The Way (PLTW), a national nonprofit organization that works with the academy to implement a curriculum, developed by it and imparted by teachers whom it has trained, that emphasizes hands-on experience in STEM education. PLTW is recognized for its ability to respond to the needs of industry by preparing competent high-tech employees.

“Our students understand the competitive nature of today’s economy and are excited about having access to what is considered the industry standard for CAD software,” said Dave Hoffman, the lead instructor at the Academy of Engineering. “We now have the ability to align our students’ base of knowledge with the rapidly changing technologies, as they pursue apprenticeships and other school-to-work opportunities. We are most appreciative of Siemens PLM Software and the SME Education Foundation for making this possible.”

“Siemens PLM Software provides the Academy of Engineering with access to PLM technology, which otherwise would be out of reach for the academic community, giving students a distinct advantage by being able to use the same PLM technology widely used by leading multinational manufacturing companies around the globe,” said Hulas King, director, Global Community Solutions and GO PLM Programs, Siemens PLM Software.

“The SME Education Foundation and Siemens PLM Software encourage SME Education Foundation sponsored schools to take advantage of this important opportunity to use the latest state-of-the-art PLM tools in their curriculum,” said Bart A. Aslin, chief executive officer, SME Education Foundation. “Students involved in the dual education system offered at River Ridge High School will be technically superior and more productive to companies who hire them.”

Information provided by the SME Education Foundation.


NIMS, educators pilot a fast-track training program

Right Skills Now is a fast-track precision manufacturing training program designed to enable both job seekers and employers to meet the current demand for skilled workers. The program features four National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) credentials and is being piloted in Minnesota.

Right Skills Now was developed by a team from NIMS, the Manufacturing Institute, ACT, Dunwoody College of Technology, South Central College, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, and manufacturing companies including Productivity Inc. Darlene Miller, CEO of Permac Industries and a member of the President's Council, was instrumental in spearheading the program.

Right Skills Now incorporates 12 weeks of manufacturing skills training at the community colleges followed by on-the-job internships with manufacturers. Trainees will initially be assessed and certified using ACT's National Career Readiness Certificate. They will earn four NIMS credentials including two in CNC Operations.

Information provided by NIMS. For details and further information about Right Skills Now, contact James Wall at jwall(at)nims-skills.org or 703-352-4971.



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