Engineering Technology Supply Chain Automation

To best serve the growing national and global supply chain workforce environment, new talent must be engaged in programmatic opportunities to address the skills-gap in emerging technician occupations. The Valencia College Engineering Technology Supply Chain Automation ATE project located in Central Florida aims to advance research on effective practices in engineering technology (ET) workforce education through a new curriculum framework and innovative approaches to teaching supply chain automation (SCA). The need for the project was driven in consultation with the National Center of Supply Chain Automation and with input from nationally recognized regional employers who reinforced the national and regional labor shortage. The new SCA-specialization will seek to provide a model for community colleges across the country, contributing to a growing movement for businesses and industries to become more efficient in distribution and supply chain automation practices. As the first program offered in the state of Florida, working closely with local business, industry, civic, and government partners, the program plans to attract and graduate a diversity of students, including underrepresented minorities (URMs) and women, to the growing field of supply chain technician jobs. The project is designed to demonstrate that the SCA-specialization within the ET associate degree (A.S.) program is a viable two-year degree option that will serve the community through partnerships with industry, leading to high wage employment opportunities in high-demand occupations, and generating new knowledge on the skills and competencies identified by industry to meet the workforce needs in SCA. Following a rigorous evaluation, Valencia will share best practices, curriculum and insight with other ATE centers and projects and collaborators to add knowledge to benefit the whole. 

The project will support building a robust workforce within demographics that will impact the future vitality of the technically-trained workforce. Through a replicable model, the project aims to develop this new SCA-specialization and college certificate and offer rigorous technical courses that will be taught in creative ways, using approaches proven to engage all students. Project objectives are to (1) develop and implement the new specialization within the state ET associate degree curriculum framework; (2) provide professional development for faculty and secondary education teachers aimed at improving instructional practices and learning outcomes, and having faculty obtain industry-recognized credentials; and (3) collaborate with high schools to develop a pathway to the SCA specialization with evidenced-based teaching and learning practices that increase early awareness and exposure to ET pathways for a wide diversity of students. Project deliverables will target (a) increased industry connections, (b) the development of a new SCA-specialization and college certificate, (c) increased secondary education partnerships, (d) professional development for a minimum of eight high school teachers a year who participate in the SCA trainings to learn best-practices on the engagement of URM and female students in ET pathways, and (e) faculty preparation for a minimum of four faculty who will complete the trainings to be prepared with the necessary skills and credentials to teach the SCA curriculum.

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