University of Siegen, Germany, to Sign Memorandum of Understanding

with North Country Partners re: Authentic STEM Connect Us

Plattsburgh, NY, April 7, 2022 – Innovation in education and workforce development is happening in the North Country.

On February 4, 2022, Schluter-Systems unveiled a STEM-based manufacturing problem for New Vision in Applied Engineering students at CV-TEC's Mineville Campus and their counterpart in Olpe, Germany to solve, as part participating in the Authentic STEM Connect Us program in partnership with the University of Siegen, Germany and the North Country Workforce Partnership, Inc. (NCWP).

Dr. Gero Stoffels and Dr. Ingo Witzke of the Insitute of Mathematics Education at the University of Siegen in Germany will visit the North Country April 13-15, 2022, and sign a Memorandum of Understanding in partnership with the North Country Chamber of Commerce, Champlain Valley Education Center (CVES), Schulter Systems and the NCWP. The MOU will formalize the goals and objectives of Authentic STEM Connect Us and the role of the lead organizations involved in the project. 

"This is innovation; this is the future of workforce development and education," said NCWP Executive Director Sylvie Nelson. "Authentic STEM Connect Us allows students to practice what they learn in the classroom in partnership with their peers in Olpe, Germany, and with Schluter-Systems, a German company that has its North American headquarters in Plattsburgh. How cool is that?"

Presently, workforce development relies on funding from the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) through services provided at the region’s OneWorkSource Centers. Unfortunately, those funds can only be used to serve a specific section of the population. Authentic STEM Connect Us is designed to be inclusive of all students, which is a novel approach. The Partnership hopes to leverage this Memorandum to secure robust funding for this project.

“As educators, If we are serious about playing our role in solving the workforce shortage and increasing its quality, we have to engage all of our students,” said CV-TEC Director of Career and Technical Education Michele Friedman. “This program creates meaningful partnerships between students, teachers, schools, and businesses as everyone gains by participating. Not to mention it brings an international aspect to our students that reflects the global reality our businesses operate in.”

Already, the program has garnered significant interest, locally and across the state and nation. SUNY Plattsburgh's Upward Bound program will be the second cohort of Authentic STEM Connect Us in the North Country this summer and the Partnership will expand it to both CV-TEC's campuses with the possibility of other schools participating in September.

"Upward Bound is extremely excited to be able to participate in Phase II of the Authentic STEM project this coming summer," said Director Brian Post.  "Having the opportunity to connect our students with students from Germany while working together to solve real-world industry solutions...what could be better?"

The signing ceremony is scheduled for 1 p.m., Thursday, April 14, 2022, at the Clinton OneWorkSource Center located at 194 U.S. Oval, Plattsburgh, NY 12903. For more information, please contact Sylvie Nelson at snelson@ncworkforce.com or by phone at 518-354-0418.

North Country Workforce Partnership, Inc.

The North Country Workforce Partnership, Inc. is a regional workforce and economic development leader, serving as a central hub connecting businesses, organizations, current and prospective workforce members. NCWP is committed to empowering the North Country’s workforce to thrive through inclusion and diversity. The NCWP supports the North Country Workforce Development Board activities through program development, grants, real estate, and other workforce development-related activities.

Media Contact:

Name: Sylvie Nelson

Title: Executive Director

Phone: 518-354-0418

Email address: snelson@ncworkforce.com