New Approach to Building a Workforce Pipeline for Electro-mechanical Technician Education
In Northeast Wisconsin, the demand for skilled electro-mechanical technicians continues to exceed the supply of qualified applicants. This project builds a collaboration between Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, the Northeast Wisconsin Manufacturing Alliance, and local industry to meet the regional need for electro-mechanical technicians. These partners work together to design and implement strategies that can interest current entry-level workers in pursuing an Industrial Maintenance Certificate. This certificate is the first step toward an Electro-Mechanical Associate Degree, but does not require the level of mathematics needed in later courses in the curriculum. To prepare certificate students for success in the associate degree courses, this project aims to interweave math lessons into the lab portion of the certificate courses. In this way, the project expects that students will learn math concepts at the beginning of the career pathway, and will develop the confidence and math comprehension needed to succeed in the associate degree program.
Activities will include development of curriculum and educational materials to contextualize math and student success skills within the program courses. The project will support the laboratory needs of rural students by providing equipment upgrades. By the end of three years, it is expected that the project will benefit at least 60 entry-level adults, five college faculty, and multiple regional industry employers. This project will use multiple platforms to disseminate the practices and knowledge gained by the project to other regions. The project will specifically study how technical colleges and industry partners work together to encourage enrollment in an educational pathway to create a career pipeline. This research will add to the current body of knowledge surrounding industry engagement in education and barriers to returning adults.