Volume 22, No. 1, 1st Quarter, 2021
From the Director ...

Craig McAtee, NCATC CEO and Executive Director
NCATC Friends and Colleagues,

Our collaboration with the National Skills Coalition is expanding…

Different industries have experienced the COVID-19 pandemic in different ways. Recognizing this, the Biden Administration and new Congress are poised to make significant investments in industry-specific economic recovery policies. For these policies to succeed, industry leaders must shape them – specifically, business leaders, labor leaders, colleges, training providers, workforce boards, and others who have been a part of successful industry-specific workforce training strategies.

Between March and July 2021, the National Skills Coalition (NSC) and Business Leaders United for Workforce Partnerships (BLU) will create that opportunity. NSC will convene industry leaders to influence federal recovery policies and ensure they include investments in workforce training and supports so that workers and businesses can adapt to structural shifts within their industries. 

NCATC has been selected to be part of the Manufacturing Industry Recovery Panel, which will help shape the Biden Administration’s “Made in All of America” initiative and related policies through meetings with the Department of Commerce and Congressional leadership. Policy recommendations will include ways to support diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) for effective training and support, such as:

  • Continued expansion of apprenticeships and other work-based learning,

  • Investing in digital upskilling to support advances in high-tech manufacturing,

  • Supporting more agile postsecondary education for a more agile manufacturing workplace,

  • Creating a 21st Century Extension Partnership to align workforce and economic development strategies, and

  • Establishing a White House Interagency Sub Taskforce on Skills for an Inclusive Economic Recovery.

These panels will:

  • Meet with White House advisors, agency leaders, and congressional leaders to inform their industry-specific recovery efforts.

Consistent with NSC’s Inclusive Economic Recovery framework, NCATC wants to help ensure these initiatives address:

  • The disproportionate impact of the economic crisis on workers of color, immigrants, and workers with a high school diploma or less;

  • The essential role of businesses that hire locally and invest in their people but need policymakers to be their partners; and

  • The moral and economic imperative to dismantle structural racism in workforce education and training.

We are aware that skills training alone will not ensure an inclusive recovery, but it must be part of our nation’s federal policy response. The time is NOW to get much more actively involved in federal, state, and local policies that will set priorities and funding for the future of work.

Our Winter 2021 Webinar Series has focused on Access, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (ADEI) in partnership with both ACTE (January) and NSC (February). You can find the first two webinar recordings on the NCATC website here.
And as always, we encourage you to stay regularly connected and up to date on all ATC and CTE-related activities and guidance, via the weekly updated NCATC website, social media (LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.), and quarterly e-newsletters like this one.
Creating Solutions and Improving Our Communities Together

Chris Lewis, MBA, 2021 NCATC President
On behalf of the Board of Directors and our community college members and strategic partners across the country, I am pleased to greet you as the 2021 NCATC President. It is a true honor and pleasure to serve. We have to admit that 2020 was a trying year for our country, and the reality is that in 2021 we are still facing disruption around COVID-19. The majority of our members and strategic partners have been impacted by restrictions that are not only limited to travel. College enrollments have been negatively impacted and unemployment numbers have significantly risen. Working from home and virtual meetings have become not the exception but the norm. Your affiliation with NCATC could not be more important than it is today! In an October 5, 2020, report, McKinsey & Company noted that “a new survey finds that responses to COVID-19 have speeded the adoption of digital technologies by several years – and that many of these changes could be here for the long haul.” NCATC is well-positioned through our strategic focus areas – Industry 4.0: Emerging Trends in Advanced Technology and Smart Manufacturing; Apprenticeships, Work-Based Learning and Entrepreneurship in Workforce Development; Competency-Based Learning in Workforce Development; Industry-Recognized Credentials and Certifications; and Adult Education and Learning Opportunities – to be a solution provider assisting your businesses and community in keeping up with the accelerated needs that will develop from this disruption.

As a community college leader charged with the responsibility of workforce and community solutions at my college, I readily acknowledge that NCATC has been a pivotal resource that we have used for services that range from feasibility studies around our Advanced Technology Center to recommendations around equipment trends, correctional workforce programs, funding opportunities, and equipment and software acquisitions. But the most valuable asset to me is the countless years of experience that can be tapped into with a simple email or phone call. The members of NCATC collectively represent several hundred years of expertise, and that value truly showed its worth as we discussed our role around social awareness, which led us to our first webinar on diversity and inclusion. NCATC is the most valued resource in my toolbox. I look forward to meeting you either virtually or face-to-face later this year if things permit, and I hope to hear how you have been able to enhance your value as a result of the numerous offerings from NCATC.
Welcome to Our Newest NCATC Member

Catawba Valley Community College, Hickory, NC

Enjoy this virtual tour of their Workforce Solutions Center.
Weld-Ed 2021 Summer Workshops

For Welding Educators, Instructors, and Trainers
6/7-6/11, Module 1: Welding Metallurgy, Illinois Central College (E. Peoria, IL)

6/26-6/30, Module 2: Joining & Cutting Processes, Yuba College (Marysville, CA)

6/28-7/2, Module 3: Design, Assembly, Robotics, College of the Canyons (Santa Clarita, CA)

6/28-7/2, Module 4: Codes, Standards & Safety Inspection, North Dakota State College of Science (Wahpeton, ND)

6/14-6/18, Module 6: Instructional Design & Teaching Strategies, College of the Canyons (Santa Clarita, CA)

7/19-7/21, Module 7: Non-Destructive Testing (NDT), Chattanooga State Community College (Chattanooga, TN)

6/21-6/25, Module 8: Additional Welding & Allied Processes, Weber State University (Ogden, UT)
In This Issue

  • FANUC and Rockwell Automation Form Coalition to Quickly Address Manufacturing Skills Gap with Robotics and Automation Apprenticeship Programs
  • TechWorks Training Initiative
  • Strong Welds for the Future
  • STLCC, Boeing Receive 2021 Special Ambassador Award
  • Hawai’i Week: Bringing the Islands Together to Shift the Education Paradigm
  • SME Education Foundation Scholarships Key to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Strategy
FANUC and Rockwell Automation Form Coalition to Quickly Address Manufacturing Skills Gap with Robotics and Automation Apprenticeship Programs
Business Wire, Feb 23, 2021. "FANUC America and Rockwell Automation officially formed a coalition to kick off accelerated work and learn apprenticeship programs designed to upskill current and future workers for jobs in advanced manufacturing, robotics and automation. The coalition includes APT, a FANUC and Rockwell Automation systems integrator, and NOCTI Business Solutions, which provides independent assessments of occupational standards and validation using recognized International Organization for Standardization (ISO) process validation methods. Franklin Apprenticeships is also a key partner of the coalition, ensuring apprenticeship support structure and success enablers for employers and apprentices."

TechWorks Training Initiative

Building marketable skills among justice-involved participants
Rock Valley College in Rockford, Illinois, is working directly with the Winnebago County Sherriff’s department to provide training opportunities for CNC training for current inmates, including earning NIMS (National Institute for Metalworking Skills) certification. The program, called the TechWorks Training Initiative, is using four new Haas CNC mills to conduct hands-on training in the jail.

In February, the program graduated the first seven incarcerated individuals. Inmates participated in a seven-week training program that integrates job-readiness, classroom training, and hands-on training. The goal of the program is to increase the opportunities for employment for inmates when they are released, also reducing their risk of returning to jail. The NIMS credentials the students can earn are Measurement Materials and Safety, CNC Lathe, and CNC Mill Operator Level I.

The goal is to have 56 inmates complete the training program in the first year.
“This is about changing paradigms that could make this community stronger and also to increase the workforce talent that we have, which gives us the ability to recruit other businesses, which makes us stronger as a community,” said Christopher Lewis, RVC Vice President of Workforce Development.

Studies have shown that recidivism rates drop up to 30 percent with vocational training, saving four dollars on re-incarceration costs for every one dollar invested in education programs. Haas Factory Outlet-Chicago is proud to partner with RVC and Winnebago County Sherriff’s department to provide access and opportunities for the students to fill the skills gap in their region. 
Strong Welds for the Future

At a crucial time for manufacturing in the U.S., funding from a consortium-centered federal grant is supporting new investments at Central Oregon Community College
The busy sounds of learning — buzzes and crackles, heat scorching metal — spill from the welding booths at Central Oregon Community College’s Manufacturing and Applied Technology Center, as students are practicing laying down sturdy welds, perfecting their techniques. And it’s a vital time for strong welds.

While the skills gap has certainly been a looming reality for years — created by a fast decline of skilled hands-on workers reaching retirement age and an info-based economy that’s funneling younger workers in a new direction — the pandemic has only intensified the problem. “The COVID-19 economic shock has made the skills gap broader and the need to close it more urgent,” stated a report last year from the World Economic Forum.
Helping to address that urgency, COCC is part of a new partnership aimed at reinforcing pipelines of skilled workers and creating new learning opportunities for its communities. At the end of last year, the college worked with eight other Oregon community colleges and Oregon’s Higher Education Coordinating Commission to apply for a U.S. Department of Labor Strengthening Community College Training Grant. In January, the consortium learned that it had received the full amount: an award of $5 million in funding.
For the next four years, COCC will receive $80,000 per year as part of this award, which the college will use to support advanced manufacturing workforce development in Central Oregon. It will invest in equipment and facilities and work with regional manufacturing partners to provide integrated education and training, short-term certifications, and stackable credentials.

“These include welding, machine tool, CNC, metal fabrication, automation, machine learning, and real-time data,” said Joe Huddleston, director of COCC’s manufacturing technology program. Graduates from these program areas, he added, find employment in sectors ranging from renewable energy to aviation.

A focus on hands-on internships and apprenticeships will be an integral part of how grant dollars are applied. “We fully support the core elements of this project and look forward to launching this initiative,” said Dale Riggs, director of engineering at Bend-based CV International. “As an employer partner for this project, we will endeavor to provide paid internships and cooperative work experiences to COCC students and graduates. We will offer students exposure to hands-on time with manufacturing and qualified trainees will be interviewed as potential employees.”

The Brookings Institution published a report last year that suggested that the skilled trades gap needs to be seen in a new light: viewed as more of an opportunity gap, with equity required as a central piece. Narrowing that gap involves affordable training, support services for students, and equitable practices, all things that COCC is putting an emphasis on.

“We strive to be that bridge and community partner to provide these skills to our future tradespeople,” said Michael Fisher, an instructional dean at COCC. “It’s a holistic approach to supporting and training students.”
STLCC, Boeing Receive 2021 Special Ambassador Award

Five-step program seeks to gain interest among high schoolers
A program conducted by St. Louis Community College and Boeing St. Louis has been selected as a 2021 Special Ambassador Award recipient by the Special School District of St. Louis County.
St. Louis Community College’s Boeing Pre-Employment Training for High School Seniors program and Boeing have earned the Special School District’s highest honor. The Special Ambassador Award recognizes those who demonstrate extraordinary commitment to students and/or staff of the Special School District. 

St. Louis Community College’s Center for Workforce Innovation, in partnership with Boeing, works to promote the program to students at North and South Technical High Schools. With assistance from the school administration, a five-step program was laid out to engage students to gain interest in aerospace manufacturing and attending the Boeing pre-employment program.

Components of the Five-Step Program:
  • Aerospace Program Briefing
  • Aircraft Assembly Hands-on Demo (Drill and Fill)
  • Aircraft Composites Hands-on Demo (Fabrication)
  • Field Trip and Hands-On Tour of Pre-employment Program and Boeing
  • Parent Meeting

This is a great way to gain the interest of high school juniors, who can then apply for the second-semester high school senior course the following year. This no-cost program provides 208 hours of employer-specific instruction in aircraft assembly techniques for second-semester high school seniors. Program completers who are at least 18 years old are eligible for interviews with Boeing for assembly mechanic positions.
Sally Difani, administrator of partnerships at the Special School District of St. Louis County, nominated the program and Boeing for recognition.
“It’s an honor to be recognized by the district,” said Becky Epps, manager of the Center for Workforce Innovation. “The partnership between STLCC, Boeing, and North and South Technical High Schools is a strong one and has become the model that we will roll out to other high schools in the area to promote the Boeing Pre-employment Program.” 
Hawai’i Week: Bringing the Islands Together to Shift the Education Paradigm

Ron Umehira, Dean at Leeward Community College, and Mark C. Perna, CEO at TFS Results
On March 2–6, 2020, TFS Results founder Mark C. Perna delivered seven dynamic presentations across Kaua‘i, O‘ahu, Maui, and Hawai‘i Island. Almost a year in the planning, “Hawai’i Week” would be the first and last event of its kind before COVID-19 struck the U.S.

Over 1,500 CTE secondary and postsecondary professionals experienced a fresh vision for career-focused education during Hawai’i Week. The culminating event at the HSSI Conference drew over 1,000 UHCC faculty, staff, and administrators. The response was overwhelmingly positive.
Educators and business leaders alike were challenged to bridge the gap between education and career, create stronger partnerships, and expand career guidance and academic counseling.

“Perna opened our eyes and minds to visualize the next 5–10 years in secondary and postsecondary education, how to rethink CTE in Hawai‘i, and how to strengthen the teacher and faculty pipeline to develop and deliver the CTE pathways,” says Umehira.
“This was especially valuable for the new and emerging fields of Information Technology, Skilled Trades, and Healthcare.”
Hawai’i Week was a valuable networking experience for educators and business leaders. It also provided the impetus for the expansion of six CTE pathways. Stakeholders included the Hawaii Department of Education (HDOE), the University of Hawai’i Community Colleges (UHCC), and the Hawaii Student Success Institute (HSSI).
“Hawaii needs to keep up with the strategies that are changing the education and workforce paradigm nationwide,” Umehira says. “Hawai’i Week brought our state together like never before to create greater synergy between academic knowledge and technical skills and how we can help students achieve this.” 
SME Education Foundation Scholarships Key to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Strategy

Rob Luce, Vice President, SME Education Foundation
In the wake of widespread protests against police brutality and systemic racism, the SME Education Foundation has announced a renewed and focused commitment to a diversity, equity, and inclusion strategy that is designed to fully integrate diversity and equity opportunities into every program, effort, and initiative undertaken by the Foundation.

We’re proud of the support we share with young people, but we know that we can do more to ensure availability and equity in providing opportunity for all people, and we know that the National Coalition of Advanced Technology Centers shares and works toward our common goal of inclusion.

There is much to be done. In its 2020 report, the American Society for Engineering Education noted that Hispanic graduates comprised only 10.4% of the 2019 engineering technology total. The percent of Black graduates made up 6.4% in 2019—with no growth upward in the data. There has been a decline in the percent of American Indian/Alaskan Native graduates from 0.6% in 2011 to 0.4% in 2019 (American Society for Engineering Education, Engineering and Engineering Technology by the Numbers 2019, Washington, DC).

The Foundation, along with NCATC and many manufacturing and engineering organizations nationwide, is re-examining its diversity, equity, and inclusion programs and policies, intent on diversifying its operations from the ground up.

Our scholarship program began in 1979. In the decades since, with the generous support of members, individuals, and corporations, it annually awards support to deserving graduating high school seniors, undergraduates, and graduate students pursuing two- or four-year degrees in manufacturing and related engineering disciplines. In 2020, the Foundation received 795 applications from students across the country, vying for scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $40,000.

In 2020, the SME Education Foundation awarded 358 scholarships to young men and women, totaling $707,000 in support. Funds were disbursed to students in 41 states and two Canadian provinces.

We’ve reviewed and improved our communication and outreach to underrepresented groups, leveraging relationships with our promotional and industry partners as well as strengthening alliances with historically black colleges and universities, industry groups, trade associations, and student organizations to reach students who can benefit from needed support. Early results in the form of improved scholarship applications among minorities and women show that these efforts are already showing marked improvement.

One of the crucial components of the Foundation’s strategy is the creation of a new scholarship fund for underrepresented young people. The newly established Irving P. McPhail Scholarship Fund—named for the late 2020 president of the SME Education Foundation—will award scholarships in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and manufacturing education to minority and/or female students. Our goal with these scholarships is to significantly expand postsecondary education opportunities to a broader community of students over the next five years.

The new $2 million McPhail fund augments the SME Education Foundation scholarship program, which has awarded more than $8 million to nearly 3,500 students since 2005.

We encourage students to register now at the SME Education Foundation website to explore all of the Foundation’s scholarship opportunities.

We look forward to working with NCATC to make significant improvements not only in the data, but in creating individual opportunity for every student.