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Propelling the Workforce of the Future

by Adrianne Gracias | Apr 13, 2017

One third of jobs created in the United States in the past 25 years did not exist before. The Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce reports that the U.S. could face a shortfall of 11 million skilled workers over the next 5 years. At the same time, automation, artificial intelligence, and advanced robotics are on the way. New technologies can have a positive impact on employment. Productivity will improve if change is people-led and tech-enabled. Employees must be well-trained to work with emerging technology and tools. Navigating into new job types or entirely new career fields is an exciting possibility.

Read more about Apprenticeship, the "Other College" »

10,000 people showed up at a job fair for 800 positions at Siemens Energy new gas turbine plant in Charlotte, NC. Less than 15 percent of the applicants were able to pass a reading, writing and math screening test geared toward a ninth-grade education. More than 2500 miles to the west, John Deere has partnered with Walla Walla Community College creating apprenticeships and internships to repair million-dollar machinery filled with several dozen computers. The toolbox is now a computer, fixing tractors and grain harvesters requires advanced math and comprehension skills – problems have to be solved on the fly. Apprenticeships offer on-the-job training with an associate degree in mechatronics (Siemens and Central Piedmont Community College, NC) and upon completion of the program graduates have no student loans and earn more than $50,000 a year. The median salary for young adults with a bachelor’s degree is $50,000. Educational pathways must be expanded and legitimized, redefining and broadening what is meant by “higher education”.

Watch video, partnering apprentice training John Deere and Walla Walla Community College: 

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NECA Technology

NECA Technology – the Project for Applied and Disruptive Technology, explores the world of technology and keeps members informed of what’s happening today, and of what will be launched in the not too distant future.  Dr. Joey Shorter, NECA Director of Research, has an extensive background in education and experience in translating the work of academics into understandable, practical ideas.

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