We need a more educated workforce for the future of manufacturing
"With a smarter, complicated, and data-driven manufacturing industry today, we need a more educated and skilled workforce that has problem-solving and critical thinking ability," said Gregg Fleisher the chief academic officer of National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI). Fleisher talked to high school and college students on Tuesday, Sept. 9, at the Smartforce Student Summit at IMTS 2014. During his keynote, he encouraged students to pursue science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education and to be innovative.
Fleisher started his career as an auditor and actuary but later decided to make a major career change to pursue his passion. In 1986, he began teaching math to high school students in the Dallas ISD. While teaching, he had one of the highest percentages of students pass the Advanced Placement (AP) Program calculus exam/per school enrollment of any public high school in the country. Being the chief academic officer at NMSI, Fleisher keeps pushing the NMSI College Readiness Program, now in more than 550 schools in 22 U.S. states. With the program, the average first year increase in the number of passing AP math, science and English scores at NMSI schools is 72%, 10 times the national average. Those results are sustained throughout the program’s three-year duration. By 2025, the program is expected to increase the number of students passing AP math and AP science exams from 440,000 in 2013 to 1.5 million.
Fleisher believes that the key to a better manufacturing future is to improve math and science education. In the past, anyone could find a satisfying job in manufacturing production sector. Today, students need more education in computer science, coding, design, trouble-shooting and critical thinking ability to land a career in manufacturing.
Fleisher showed photos from the Wright Brothers and the first moon landing during the speech to stress the importance of human invention and manufacturing.
"It is in our DNA to use STEM to invent and manufacture. It is impossible to think of one thing that is not related to manufacturing. The future is unimaginable, and we rely on people sitting in this room to show us the future. You can never exceed the limit, so set the limit high and don’t be afraid to fail," said Fleisher.
– Joy Chang, digital project manager, Control Engineering and Plant Engineering, CFE Media.
For more about NMSI, see www.nms.org.
For more information about IMTS, see other articles linked below.