A Framework for Revitalizing Manufacturing EDUCATION
Posted by Bert Maes on January 22, 2010
Two reports have recently been released about revitalizing the United States manufacturing industry: President Obama’s FRAMEWORK FOR REVITALIZING AMERICAN MANUFACTURING, December 16th, 2009 AND Manufacturing Resurgence – a Must for US Prosperity, Joel Popkin & Kathryn Kobe , January 21st, 2010
>> BUT WHAT’S IN IT FOR MANUFACTURING EDUCATION?
Ian Fraser stated in his “Economics for Business”: “The Only Sustainable Competitive Advantage is LEARNING”: Products can be copied. Processes can be copied. Services can be copied. >> So how does a company create a sustainable advantage over competitors???
“Whole industries have emerged from inventions of Edison, Bell, and the Wright Brothers. US leadership springs from the willingness of American inventors to challenge conventional wisdom,” according to John Kao.
= Know-how is the foundation for tomorrow’s innovations. So we will have to create a national culture in which individuals and enterprises LEARN MORE QUICKLY THAN ITS COMPETITORS.
“Education should be THE national growth strategy, focusing on massive funding for education, to give our country the engineers and inventors to thrive in a high-tech global economy,” John Kao added.
Popkin, Kobe & Obama follow the same vision on education in their frameworks for revitalizing manufacturing:
- Labor in our manufacturing industry is more costly than it is in other parts of the world. An important way to keep the total cost of labor competitive is to maximize the productivity of each hour of labor.
- The essential factor to accelerate and enhance productivity, is a skilled, well-trained workforce. Building world-class products using new cleaner, more efficient, more sustainable manufacturing process technologies (such as robotics and advanced materials), demands a workforce with an increasingly advanced set of skills and competencies.
- = A leading incentive for offshoring is ‘race for talent’. IBM has built a new research center in Shanghai, China, because of the rich pool of science and engineering talent in China, as well as the continued commitment to expand collaboration with academic institutions.
- A skilled workforce is the lifeblood of R&D, the lifeblood of innovation and competitiveness. Only those nations that continue to invest in highly skilled and talented workforce will stay competitive in the long run.
- The United States must meet the long-term demand for workers with math and science training, to maintain the US manufacturing industry’s ability to compete worldwide. Other countries are already making significant strides in R&D in some of these areas and are manufacturing the leading edge products.
- We will have to improve our education quality to meet employer needs. That means building programs that:
- encourage partnerships with businesses and other educational institutions;
- modernize technical schools’ facilities;
- expand high-quality online course offerings;
- focus on technical retraining in order to smooth the transition of employees from one manufacturing industry to another;
- promote inhouse manufacturing worker training & broaden opportunities for career advancement;
- make college more affordable for unemployed workers to pursue educational opportunities that will lead to good jobs and career pathways;
- improve early childhood education that nurtures math and science proficiency.
An education program that fits nicely into this framework is the “Haas Technical Education Center” concept from www.HTECnetwork.eu. It is set up as a long-term partnership program between education and manufacturing industry, in which the company Haas Automation, inc. helps technical schools towards:
- Higher motivation of young people;
- Saving teachers time via offering them proven CNC teaching materials for direct use in the classroom;
- Supporting the quality of instruction and the performance of student learning;
- Helping the school to build a very strong reputation and competitiveness in the field of manufacturing education (and beyond);
- Bringing education closer to the workplace and the “real industry”;
- Bringing the training directly into line with the needs of the local manufacturing industry, etc.
Check www.HTECnetwork.eu to get amazing offers for your CNC manufacturing classes.