Tag Archives: STEM

Workshop for Warriors: Changing the Lives of Veterans

workshop for warriors

Sometimes the transition from military life to one of a civilian can be difficult and fraught with setbacks. With alarming unemployment rates and an even harsher reality of high suicide rates among our Nation’s military veterans, it’s our turn to give back and respond to these issues in the manufacturing industry with innovative solutions.

That’s exactly what ex-naval officer Hernan Luis y Prado decided in his retirement. As the creator of Workshop for Warriors, he strives to create an efficient solution for veterans to add some fulfillment back into their professional lives. This program educates, trains and sets-up a veteran’s life for professional preparation and employment in the manufacturing industry.

Workshop for Warriors. Remember the name when you see a veteran in need of assistance and purpose.

Investing in Professional Fulfillment?

The unemployment rate of veterans is absurdly high. Their reintegration into the professional life is an essential problem for all of us as citizens. They deserve an opportunity, just like the rest of us, to educate themselves and train for positions in the manufacturing community.

Workshop for Warriors is a San Diego-based solution with a campus that has grown significantly in the past few years. They aim to connect veterans to opportunities not only in California but nationwide. Their goals are to continue growing in numbers and expanding certifications from the G.I. bill process so that veterans all around the country can use these benefits for their program.

Adapting to Contemporary Manufacturing

Workshop for Warriors provides a plethora of certification training programs. They also cover most certificates required and recognized nationally by the manufacturing industry. The American Welding Society, the National Institute for Metalworking Skills, Mastercam University, Solidworks, Immerse2Learn, and the National Coalition of Certification Centers are the base of their certification goals.

Their curriculum also covers STEM necessities including computer-based design and manufacturing. They realize that as the industry changes, so will the training for the workers. The presence of Automation is ever-increasing in our industry, so the changes will be immense when it comes to terms of education and job preparation of veterans.

 Why the need?

Our economy is changing, and sooner or later the baby boomer generation that makes up most our workforce will soon disappear. Assisting veterans with these positions will not only demonstrate a position of caring but a necessity that we need as manufacturers: well-trained, loyal employees that have a disciplined style and motivation to learn and change. Workshop for Warriors provides us a window to intelligently solve the problems of our industry and the problems of veterans, effectively changing their lives for the better and helping them become a productive part of our economy.

 

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STEM Can Get Students Excited about Manufacturing

stem

What is the key to obtaining and maintaining economic growth as a nation? Many, including The United States government, believe it is enticing the workforce to take up interests and jobs in the manufacturing industry. The good news for us: this solution not only calls us to duty at a time of need; it also revitalizes our industry and could change the perceptions of the sector. So how do we interest new generations in becoming innovative, manufacturing leaders? Teaching the magic of creation with STEM in schools.

As technology continues to fuel economic recovery, manufacturing is implementing the use of robotics and cobotics in the production line. Students are already learning to program, design, and manipulate mechanical parts and robotic elements to complete certain tasks in the classroom. The hands-on approach is more fun and arguably more applicable than traditional methods of teaching. Moreover, students are now literally able to design new technologies in the classroom. Teaching with STEM taps into student’s curiosity and allows them to build the ideas they propose. The ability to repair, program, and design new approaches in production using automation, such as robotics and cobotics, is not only a skill for the classroom; it will be a hugely sought after asset in the next couple of years.

High school programs are also starting to combine STEM in their curriculum’s in the most authentic way by partnering manufacturers to provide students with certifications that will boost their CVs post-high school graduation. This creates an obvious incentive for students to really apply their skills learned in school towards jobs in the modern manufacturing industry. High-tech manufacturing jobs can be an extremely lucrative alternative to other careers that require a 4 to 5-year degree, but this is not for lack of difficulty. STEM certification only requires a two-year associate’s career path that can catch the eye of young students looking for a quick entry into the workforce. Encouragement might also come from the rise of apprenticeship programs which are starting to make a strong comeback as a more significant learning experience for all students. Technical school is no longer an easier alternative to a high school diploma, as these programs are competitive and require complex skills.

Manufacturing was the pride and joy of the 2nd industrial revolution, and now that the country is turning its eyes to us again, we have a lot of value to offer. Our industry is the backbone of the United States economy, and we’d like to be the backbone of innovative education too. As Science, Technology, Engineering and Math penetrate the curriculum, we want to be there investing in the bright future for the high-tech manufacturing industry. And for now, students are responding well.

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STEM Leads the Way as New Face of Manufacturing

manufacturing

There is a negative perception of manufacturing right now–that the profession is risky, low-paying, with no benefits and high potential for getting laid-off. This perception of manufacturing in America is outdated and has more to do with misconceptions of the benefits of offshoring than the essential evolution of manufacturing in the United States. If Manufacturing in the United States were its own country, it would rank today as the eighth largest economy with an impressive leadership in high-tech manufacturing. This is where STEM steps in as one of the most important assets to manufacturing in terms of education, lucrative benefits for manufacturing companies, and financial reward for employees with these highly-needed skills. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics and is quickly becoming one of the most sought after skills in the manufacturing market.

The employee of tomorrow in the manufacturing market will be an archetype far more developed than that of the Model-T line production days. The skills required for the manufacturer of tomorrow will include critical thinking abilities, design, automation, as well as innovation in both hardware and software. Therefore, it is important to take a step back and think hard about our common misunderstandings of manufacturing jobs as nonacademic or careers for the under educated. We must continue to emphasize the importance of STEM skills not only in the current workforce but also in the workforce of tomorrow.

The economic success of our country relies on a strong foundation in STEM education– not only as preparation for the manufacturing but also as innovative in-classroom approaches and methodologies required for all work forces of tomorrow. Within the next five years, STEM jobs will grow twice as quickly. Over the next decade, over 80% of jobs will require technological skills. It is important to start integrating skills with innovation, engineering, and technology into our common curriculum in schools. Think about the benefits for manufacturers when the next generation workforce comes in with abilities in robotics, hardware and software, and critical thinking. High-tech manufacturing is growing in America and we can’t overlook the necessity of these skills in the future workforce.

The greatest thing about the future of STEM skills in our manufacturing industry is that it would already respond to the problems of today effectively and efficiently. Considering the vast amount of entrepreneurship in novel manufacturing startups and the increased amount of re-shoring underway in the United States, STEM skills will be a profitable commodity for the economy. The abilities for computer design, engineering, and advanced mathematical analysis not only increase product development and quality but also receive notoriety from potential investors and even federal grant incentives, like ones that have been given to many small manufacturing companies from the Obama Administration.

The implementation of science, technology, engineering, and math in our economy is already a growing necessity. These skills give companies the abilities to innovate and use sound science and analysis as a method for that innovation. Soon, in the not too distant future, our workforce will have jobs that require these skills. How amazing would it be to see these skills integrated into our manufacturing companies today–before it is a requirement? It’s time to demonstrate the relevance of the high-tech manufacturing job market to our future workforce and show just how important STEM skills in the manufacturing industry can be in developing a strong American economy.

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