Why Universities are Important to Rebuilding US…

Why Universities are Important to Rebuilding US…

Mar 14, 2017

“Why Universities are Important to Rebuilding US Manufacturing” By Michele Nash-Hoff, President, ElectroFab Sales, IndustryWeek The United States needs more engineers to rebuild American manufacturing, and universities play a key role in providing this education. The fact that more and more manufacturers are returning manufacturing to the U. S. or keeping manufacturing here instead of moving to Mexico or Asia is good news, but on February 23, 2017, President Trump met with two dozen manufacturing CEOs at the White House. While they “declared their collective commitment to restoring factory jobs lost to foreign competition,” some of the CEOs “suggested that there were still plenty of openings for U.S. factory jobs but too few qualified people to fill them. They urged the White House to support vocational training for the high-tech skills that today’s manufacturers increasingly require…The jobs are there, but the skills are not,” one executive said during meetings with White House officials that preceded a session with the president.” “We were challenged by the president to … come up with a program to make sure the American worker is trained for the manufacturing jobs of tomorrow,” Reed Cordish, a White House official, said after Thursday’s meetings.” Training today’s workers in the skills they will need for the jobs of the future in manufacturing is important, but we also need to educate the next generation of manufacturing workers. We need more engineers to rebuild American manufacturing, and universities play a key role in providing this education. Recently, I had the opportunity to interview Dr. David B. Williams, executive dean of the Professional Colleges and dean of The College of Engineering at The Ohio State University, located in Columbus, Ohio, to discuss the role universities are playing in rebuilding manufacturing and educating the next generation of manufacturing workers. His official biography on the university website states, “Williams is involved in many university-industry economic development partnerships. He serves on the boards of ASM International, the State of Ohio’s Third Frontier Advisory Board, Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow (formerly American Lightweight Materials Manufacturing Innovation Institute), Columbus 2020, Metro Early College STEM School, EWI, Ohio Aerospace & Aviation Council, and the Transportation Research Center.” Dean Williams said, “Ohio State University...

7 Things Every Engineering Student Needs to Know

7 Things Every Engineering Student Needs to Know

Sep 29, 2016

By Jacob Beningo, DesignNews The lesson that every engineering graduate quickly learns after graduating college is that despite being educated for years on engineering theories and practices, they are ill prepared for the real world. In order to smoothly transition into the practical, here are a few tips every engineering student should ponder. Tip #1 – At a Minimum, Learn Python We live in a digital world controlled by software. Software drives everything in our modern world and every engineer whether your expertise is electrical, industrial, mechanical, or sanitary should understand programming language fundamentals. There are times when something needs to be automated or test data needs to be analyzed where knowing how to write a few lines of code can make the job orders of magnitude easier. A great cross platform and easy-to-learn language is Python and a great language for those engineers looking to round out their skills in the pragmatic. Tip #2 – Take a Business Course Once an engineer, not always an engineer. We often start our careers on the front lines; developing, designing, programming, testing, and so on. For many engineers, their careers quickly take a turn into project management, marketing, and sometimes even running a business. The problem is that engineers aren’t taught these skills in the standard engineering curriculum. Taking a course on business or marketing can give engineers insights into how their employers businesses operate and provide the skills they need further into their careers. Tip #3 – Get Hands-On Hands-on, practical experience will trump theory any day. Understanding the theory for how a UART works and actually making it communicate are two totally different animals. Engineering students need to get hands-on by experimenting, developing, and playing with the technologies that they will one day be using in industry. Embedded developers can easily purchase a low-cost development kit and write code. Electrical engineers can design circuits and PCBs using freely available software and practice soldering surface mount components. Mechanical engineers can use freely available CAD software and then use a 3D printer to test their design. The possibilities are endless and make great examples to show and tell during interviews. Tip #4 – Speak, Write, and...

A New Era of U.S. Small Manufacturing Dawning?

A New Era of U.S. Small Manufacturing Dawning?

May 26, 2016

By Frank Vogl, The Globalist The man who coined the term “emerging markets” now foresees a great future for “rustbelt” cities. Donald Trump, the likely Republican nominee for the 2016 U.S. presidential election, says, “We are in an economic disaster. And it can get worse. Much worse.” More thoughtful people, such as Edward Luce, columnist for The Financial Times, engaged in similar pessimism, when he penned his latest book, Time to Start Thinking: America in the Age of Descent. Western Europe may appear to be just as grim, with persistent low levels of economic growth, high unemployment and the rise of radical political parties, mostly on the right, in some cases also on the left, in quite a number of countries. Needed: A turnaround But not all is lost – far from it. About 18 months ago, I had a chat with an old friend, Antoine van Agtmael, who told me that he was deep into researching the revival of America’s “rustbelts” – those once great blue-collar manufacturing cities who had fallen on hard times. Cities like Pittsburgh, Detroit and Akron lost tens of thousands of jobs as entire industries moved abroad to take advantage of cheap labor and low overall production costs. I first met Antoine in the early 1980s when I joined the World Bank and heard of his work on private sector investment at the Bank’s affiliate, the International Finance Corporation (IFC). Antoine subsequently gained global notoriety because he was the first to come up with the term “emerging markets.” He then left the IFC to establish a successful emerging markets investment firm. At a minimum, his looking at American “rustbelts” is significant as he has a proven track record of seeing economic opportunities in many parts of the world where prospects seemed far from encouraging. Examining the rustbelt In recent years, Antoine met some of the most successful chief executives of emerging market companies, including those that to the outrage of Trump have benefited from the “offshoring” of U.S. production. Some of these executives said they were increasingly worried about new competition from the U.S. and also from Western Europe. Antoine, who came to live in the U.S. from Holland, chatted with...

Lawmakers Hope To Designate, Fund ‘Manufacturing….

Lawmakers Hope To Designate, Fund ‘Manufacturing….

Mar 24, 2015

“Lawmakers Hope To Designate, Fund ‘Manufacturing Universities’ “ By Andy Szal, Manufacturing.net A bipartisan group of lawmakers on Wednesday introduced legislation that would provide 25 universities with federal funding to bolster programs relating to manufacturing. The bill would establish a program within the U.S. Commerce Department to select 25 “Manufacturing Universities.” Qualifying campuses would receive $20 million over four years to meet goals related to engineering, job training, manufacturing entrepreneurship and partnering with manufacturing companies. “We need our engineers to fill the growing demand for manufacturing workers and accelerate manufacturing’s growth,” said Sen. Chris Coons, D-Delaware. “This bipartisan bill would help us meet that challenge.” “As a small business owner who worked in manufacturing for over 35 years, I understand the difficulty in training and finding qualified manufacturing workers,” added Rep. Chris Collins, R-New York. “To expand manufacturing in the United States, we need to have a workforce capable of filling these skilled jobs.” The director of the Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology would oversee the program in coordination with the Energy and Defense departments and the National Science Foundation. Coons and Sen. Lindsay Graham, R-South Carolina, introduced similar legislation during the previous session of Congress, but the measure did not advance through the Senate’s education...

Trade School Enrollment Soars

By: Parija Kavilanz, CNNMoney Trade schools nationwide are bursting at the seams as demand for skilled factory workers pushes enrollment to record highs. American manufacturers in certain sectors are enjoying a rebirth fueled by the return of overseas production back to the United States. As factories crank up, they have an urgent need for high-skilled workers such as machinists and tool-and-die makers knowledgeable in computers. Trade school officials say manufacturing programs are experiencing an influx of students — young people starting out, mid-career workers who are retraining after a layoff, and incumbent factory workers. Workers are drawn not only by the opportunity but also the pay: Starting salaries of $50,000 to $60,000 are not out of range for high-skilled talent. But the surge in enrollment is posing unique challenges for schools, many of which are running at or beyond full capacity for the first time in decades. School administrators are clamoring to hire more instructors and secure funding to buy additional equipment and add classes. These infrastructure limitations, and the fact that it can take a year or more to train high-skilled factory workers, mean that the current labor shortage could persist for several years. Unlike 20 years ago, manufacturing today requires workers who are computer literate and skilled in computer-aided design and engineering, said Sandra Krebsbach, executive director of the American Technical Education Association. Demand through the roof: The Dunwoody College of Technology, a private nonprofit school in Minneapolis, offers two-year programs in tool and die, computer-aided and robotics manufacturing. Dunwoody will have 120 students across its manufacturing programs this year. “That’s the highest level of enrollees we’ve had in 15 years,” said E.J. Daigle, the school’s director of robotics and manufacturing. For the first time in the school’s 99-year history, Dunwoody will this fall introduce a six-month certificate program designed to fast-track training. The program will allow the school to churn out an additional 40 graduates trained specifically in computer-aided manufacturing, said Daigle. “Most of these fast-track students are older, in their 30s and 40s, who can’t take two years off to go to school,” he said, adding that these students have the option to return at any time and complete the...