New Book Addresses Skills Gap In Manufacturing Jobs

During a time when manufacturing is changing in massive ways, there is a predicted labor shortage with estimates as high as two million additional skilled workers needed by the year 2020.

Author Sarah Boisvert is co-founder of the commercial division of Potomac Photonics Inc. of Baltimore, Md., where she worked to commercialize a proprietary radio frequency (RF)-discharge excimer laser. She is no stranger to the need of manufacturers to find skilled workers. Her new book, published by Photonics Media Press, The New Collar Workforceis turning the traditional workforce training model on its head.  Armed with 200 manufacturing industry executives’ interviews, Boisvert gets to the heart of the skills gap, and defines a path to engaging, well-paying jobs in the cool digital factory.

New Collar Workforce book by Sarah Boisvert

The “new collar” workers that manufacturers seek have the digital skills needed to “run automation and software, design in CAD, program sensors, maintain robots, repair 3D printers, and collect and analyze data,” according to the author. Educational systems must evolve to supply today’s changing digital manufacturers with new collar workers, and this book leads the reader to innovative organizations that are recreating training programs for a new age in manufacturing, also known as Industry 4.0.

Boisvert is also the founder of the Fab Lab Hub in Santa Fe, New Mexico and as part of her book research and work; she created a Digital Badge program for New Collar jobs. Digital Badges, in collaboration with IBM and Mozilla, is a secure platform to recognize achievement.  The program certifications include:

  • Design for 3D Printing
  • Introduction to CAD Design
  • Fundamentals of SLA 3D Printing
  • Troubleshooting FDM 3D Printers
  • Laser Safety in Manufacturing

Master Badges such as 3D Printing Operator or Laser Service Technician are part of training process that culminates in a stack of Digital Badges that certify a higher level of skill.

The author’s call to action is clear: “We live in a time of extraordinary opportunity to look to the future and fundamentally change manufacturing jobs.  We can show people the value in new collar jobs and how to create nontraditional pathways to engaging, fulfilling, living wage careers in the digital factory. If industry is to invigorate and revitalize manufacturing, it must start with the new collar workers who essentially make digital fabrication for Industry 4.0 possible.”

AM News frequently researches and publishes about workforce training programs (TTU runs the NSF-funded AM-WATCH program that hosted an Additive Manufacturing Studio). If you know of one or conducting one at your institution, we would like to hear from you. Contact information below.

 

Tennessee Tech University Announces Spring Lecture Series for Additive Manufacturing

For the last several years, the Engineering Department at Tennessee Tech University (TTU) has created and hosted the Golden Eagle Additively Innovative Lecture Series. Dr. Ismail Fidan finds timely topics and the experts who can share about them for the virtual seminars.

Additively Innovative Lecture Series Spring 2019 TTU

The Spring 2019 series begins in early February and here are the details. Students, teachers, and interested participants are welcome to join in from 11 to 11:30 a.m. CST. With a web browser, you can join from anywhere via this Zoom (web conferencing) link.

Here are the upcoming spring lectures:

  • Thursday, Feb. 7: The Phantom Hole Technique, Improving Structural Performance in FFF/FDM 3D Printed Products with Eric N. Wooldridge, Professor of Additive Manufacturing at Somerset Community College, Kentucky.
  • Thursday, Feb. 21: Understanding Powder Bed Additive Manufacturing with Josh Dennis, Area Representative – South Central Region, Texas, EOS North America.
  • Thursday, March 28: Preparing Your Model for 3D Printing with Adam Wills, Master II Instructor, Computer Aided Design Technology, Tennessee College of Applied Technology-Nashville
  • Thursday, April 18: Project iGen: Using Additive Manufacturing for Service Learning with Amy Fricks, Math Teacher, DeKalb County High School, Tennessee.

We have written about the other Golden Eagle series events and you can learn more about them or watch/listen to previous talks by visiting the post: Additively Innovative Lecture Series At TTU – FALL 2018 where there are links to the past presentations (over two dozen presentations are archived).

Golden Eagle Additively Innovative Virtual Lecture Series is partially funded by the NSF Award 1601587, “AM-WATCH: Additive Manufacturing-Workforce Advancement Training Coalition and Hub”.

Guitar Building For Veterans In Puget Sound

On Veterans Day weekend, and on the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One, the STEM Guitar Building Institute team came out to serve veterans in the Puget Sound region of Washington State at Edmonds Community College.

Here are a few of the photos from the veteran participants this year.

The STEM Guitar Building Institute does a remarkable job of training educators on how to use guitars as a way to teach science, technology, engineering, and math. In fact, the project has been in 47 States and three countries outside the USA: Canada, Colombia, and Australia. They are producing more than 1,700 guitar kits each year.

What Is The Guitar Building Institute?

According to the website:

“The National STEM Guitar Project, in partnership with NSF Advanced Technological Education (ATE) Centers with funding provided through a grant from The National Science Foundation hosts innovative Guitar Building Institutes throughout the US. Five-day institutes, combined with additional instructional activities comprising 80 hours, provide middle, high school, and postsecondary faculty training on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) applications as they relate to the guitar. The institutes present and teach participants hands-on, applied learning techniques to help engage students and spark excitement for learning STEM subject matter.”

 

Upcoming Materials In Stem (M-STEM) Workshop At University Of Alabama at Birmingham

Rockets and toothpicks do not seem to be related, but at this year’s upcoming M-STEM Workshop, hosted at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, STEM educators will find out how each one of these topics, plus many others, can help educators share how materials science can weave into every aspect of learning.

Over three decades, Materials in STEM (M-STEM), has served as a resource and aid to educators looking to add new ideas, hands-on projects and experiments, demonstrations and keynotes from professionals and other educators. During this two day, intensive workshop, on November 5 and 6, 2018, participants will gather to interact and connect with a wide range of experts. Three of the most popular past sessions will return for the 2018 event:

  • The Toothpick Factory
  • Teachers with Torches
  • Engineering Rockets

Each session is packed with ideas educators can take directly back to their classrooms and put into action to help students fall in love with STEM topics.

  • Motivating the Unmotivated Learner with STEM
  • Designing Features for Datums (related to 3D printing parts and projects)
  • Damping and Insulative Properties of Natural Fiber Composites
  • Practical Polymers
  • Nano Materials, Light and Water

The program is ideal for secondary and post-secondary faculty. In addition to the keynotes and sessions, there will be a Student Posters exhibit highlighting UAB student work in materials.

M-STEM is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) under a larger grant project known as the The National Resource Center for Materials Science Technology Education (MatEdU) based at Edmonds Community College in Washington State.

Register for the M-STEM Workshop here

This year’s event is held at the UAB Hill Student Center (picture above). You can check out the building map here or move around in the 3D photos on Google Maps to look at more photos of the Hill Student Center and the UAB surrounding campus.

Here are a couple of area attractions that participants might find interesting as well:

  • The Civil Rights Tour – Birmingham is one of the most influential locations of the Civil Rights Movement and a visitor could easily fill several days touring important sites.
  • Vulcan Park and Museum with the world’s largest cast iron statue

 

Additively Innovative Lecture Series At TTU – FALL 2018

For the past couple of years, the Center for Manufacturing Research at Tennessee Tech University (TTU) has been hosting short talks by Additive Manufacturing experts in the field. These lectures are available for students directly on campus in the iMakerSpace in the Volpe Library on campus, but also online in a webinar format from anywhere using the Zoom platform.

Additively Innovative Lecture Series – FALL 2018 Sessions

All lectures are 11:00 – 11:30 am, Central Time

Although it is already passed (Sept 13), the session: “Integrating Additive Manufacturing into CAD Courses” shared by Tom Singer at Sinclair Community College in Dayton Ohio was a popular one. Professor Singer is well known for his STEM Guitar Building Institute where students build an electric guitar during a one-week workshop. The Institute is also a member of the TEAMM Network, sponsor of AM News. There will be a Guitar Building Summit from November 3-5 leading into the upcoming annual M-STEM (Materials in STEM) workshop on November 5 and 6, at the University of Alabama – Birmingham.

Upcoming Additively Innovative Lectures

Thursday, October 11:

–Where’s my Spare Part? Changing Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul through Additive Manufacturing

Brett P. Conner, Youngstown State University, Ohio

Thursday, October 25:

–Design for Additive Manufacturing: The Key to the Industrial Adoption of Additive Manufacturing

Olaf Diegel, Lund University, Sweden

Thursday, November 15:

–Functionally Graded Additive Manufacturing

Eujin Pei, Brunel University London, United Kingdom

Thursday, November 29:

–How to Integrate Additive Manufacturing in Your Production

Benjamin Denayer, The Collective Center for the Belgian Technology Industry, Heverlee, Belgium

The Golden Eagle Additively Innovative Virtual Lecture Series is partially funded by the NSF Award 1601587 “AM-WATCH: Additive Manufacturing-Workforce Advancement Training Coalition and Hub”. For more information contact Ismail Fidan, Ph.D., Professor, Innovation and Techno-Entrepreneurship Faculty Fellow, Manufacturing and Engineering Technology, Tennessee Tech University.

See past presentations in the Additively Innovative Lecture Series Archive which lists over two dozen presentations about 3D printing (additive manufacturing) on a variety of levels and interest areas from dental applications to bioprinting, design thinking to materials science research. Here are just a few of the specific sessions:

  • Dental 3-D Printing Overview, Frank Alifui-Segbaya, Griffith University
  • Free and Easy Software for Designing for 3-D Printing, Tim Gornet, Rapid Prototyping Center, University of Louisville
  • 3-D Printing, Design Thinking, and the Entrepreneurial Mindset, Phan Tran, Center for Architecture, Design, and Engineering, Lake Washington Institute of Technology
  • Making It Work, Marilyn Barger, NSF Florida Advanced Technological Education Center, Hillsborough Community College
  • Content and Curriculum Development Efforts in 3-D Printing, Jesse Roitenberg, Stratasys
  • The Development of a Framework for 3-D Printing, Casting, & Entrepreneurship, Jay Watson, Cookeville High School
  • Mel Cossette and Robin Ballard, National Resource Center for Materials Technology Education
  • Additive Manufacturing Today and in the Future, Terry Wohlers, Wohlers Associates

AM News covered the Spring 2018 Additively Innovative Lecture Series here.