Other students across the state are asking similar questions about the relevance of what they are learning as they stake out career paths. Partnering with NC State’s student newspaper, The Technician, IEI hosted more than 50 students in the Emerging Issues Commons yesterday to discuss Manufacturing Works@NC State. The students wanted to know: What jobs and career opportunities exist in this broad industry sector? What is different in manufacturing jobs today? And perhaps most importantly, what are the resources available for students interested in pursuing a future in the dynamic field of manufacturing?
manufacturing and education
While only a few months into the 2013 legislative session, its apparent that both Governor McCrory and the members of the North Carolina General Assembly are focused on advancing our state’s manufacturing future. In February, Governor McCrory signed into law SB 14, which directs the State Board of Education to develop career and technical education endorsements for high school diplomas. In addition, the bill increases access for public school students to career and technical education teachers and helps promote collaboration between K-12 schools and the community college system in developing strategies to increase the number of high school students engaging in career and technical education, especially the areas of engineering and industrial technologies and in other occupations with many employment opportunities.
There are other promising efforts to prepare students for manufacturing careers. For example, the STEMersion program is a two-week professional development summer program for teachers to better understand careers, including those in manufacturing, which require science, math, and technology skills.
IEI is doing its part. On April 11, the Pathways Partnership, of which IEI is a member, will host the first annual North Carolina Science Summit – a new signature event of the North Carolina Science Festival. This Science Summit will provide a platform for science and technology leaders to focus the attention of business and policy makers on the importance of strengthening science and technology capacities across the state. Summitparticipants will work across sectors to generate ideas that offer innovative solutions and concrete actions to meet North Carolina’s future science and technology needs, with a focus on those in manufacturing. Tune in live on April 11, and visit our website for more information.
IEI’s efforts did not stop at the Emerging Issues Forum. That was the beginning. Please stay tuned for information on county forums that we hope will help support the work you are doing in your communities.
Let’s continue to work to make manufacturing work for our state.