Volume 2, Issue 7 | July 2021
We are pleased to bring you news and resources in collaboration with the NSF Advanced Technology Education (ATE) community and industry partners. We hope that this content will be useful in this time of substantial educational change. For more information about our project, please visit our website.
Forward Thinking -
Progress Inside the Project
Preparing Technicians for the
Future of Work
Releases White Paper
A Framework for a Cross-Disciplinary STEM Core

In a soon-to-be-released white paper, the Preparing Technicians for the Future of Work project team advocates adoption of a Framework for a Cross-Disciplinary STEM Core within all technical programs. The paper outlines components of the framework: 1) the knowledge and skills in three broad content areas (data knowledge and analysis, advanced digital literacy, and business knowledge and processes) that comprise the cross-disciplinary STEM core; 2) recommended activities for successfully integrating the cross-disciplinary STEM core into technical programs; and 3) specific actions that technical programs leaders and faculty, employers, and community college presidents can take to support adoption of the core.
To encourage implementation of the framework, the Preparing Technicians project team offers tools for building partnerships with employers, identifying and prioritizing the core knowledge and skills required in your region, and integrating the cross-disciplinary STEM core into your technical programs.
For more information, please contact [email protected].
Preparing Technicians for the Future of Work to Host Virtual Special Interest Group
As part of the HI-TEC Conference 2021, Preparing Technicians for the Future of Work will host a virtual Special Interest Group (SIG) convening on Friday, July 16 (11 am–2 pm CDT) featuring:
  • Rationale and Resources for Implementing a Cross-disciplinary STEM Core
  • Panel: Perspectives, Priorities, and Impacts of Work of the Future on Regions and Sectors 
  • Author Mehran Gul discusses Innovation Ecosystems
  • Industry Speaks: Work of the Future and the Versatilist Technician

Participants will receive complementary registrations for both the SIG and the HI-TEC Conference, but seats are limited
Technician Profiles -
People Planning for Impact
In our continuing series of technician profiles, learn about actual technicians and their careers including their education, training, skills, and responsibilities. How did they attain their role and what does their day-to-day look like? Meet the supervisors and learn more about what they're looking for in a technician. How do they recruit, train, and equip their personnel with the latest technology? What skills are needed beyond what technicians currently learn in school that will impact the future, and how can an alliance between educators and industry be the game changer in preparing technicians for the future of work?
By Madeline Patton

To say Antonio Correa Barrios enjoys his work as a senior technologist in the Advanced Coating and Vacuum Process Lab at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) would be an understatement.

“I love the hands-on. I love being exposed to all the science. I love working with the engineers and scientists.
I don’t know if it is the same for many labs and research institutes, but [LLNL] technicians, you definitely get exposed to quite a bit,” Correa Barrios said during a videoconference interview.

John M. “Bud” Chesser, senior supervisor of the Advanced Coating and Vacuum Process Lab in the Materials Engineering Division of Lawrence Livermore National Lab, looks for two things when screening applications of entry-level technicians: basic mechanical skills and inquisitiveness.

Listen to Our Latest Podcast
Episode 27: Welding is One Piece of the Puzzle
Host Mike Lesiecki with Guest
Rich Little
Welding Engineer at United Launch Alliance
Mission Success. In this episode, Rich Little takes us into the role of a welder in a space vehicle manufacturing company. Incoming welders will need to have the basics about welding, but it's also important for them to understand the sense of welding as a process and how it is part of manufacturing and fabrication processes overall.

Rich also shares about a particularly interesting solid-state welding process often used in aerospace, friction stir welding.

For additional educational resources and excellent learning tools visit the podcast show notes.
Episode 28: Reinventing the IT Workforce
Host Mike Lesiecki with Guest
Jennifer Oddo
Executive Director of the Division of Workforce Education and Innovation at Youngstown State University
The "new" collar workforce is in high demand and the skills IT technicians needs to stay current are changing at a rate that is proving difficult for academic institutions to outpace. In this podcast find out how developing the IBM competency-based apprenticeship program and working with employers to innovate recruitment, hiring, and training is bridging the gap to prepare the workforce of tomorrow.
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Administered by the
Center for Occupational Research and Development (CORD)
Funding and support provided
by the
National Science Foundation
Disclaimer: This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under NSF DUE #1839567. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.