March 2013

March 2013

Be honest.  Most of us while in high school wondered, as did Joseph DeFreese, whether we would ever have reason to use trigonometry in everyday life. What distinguishes Joseph from many is he sought out an opportunity to apply what he was learning in his classroom at Olympic High School. He is now a manufacturing apprentice with Siemens, and Joseph uses trigonometry all the time.
Manufacturing North Carolina State University
Click the image above to view photos from Manufacturing Works @NC State.

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.



how do you align manufacturing and education?

How does your community aligns manufacturing with education? Throughout April and May, IEI will be hosting several community forums focused on this issue. Tell us how you’re working to make manufacturing skills present in the classroom in this quick survey. Visit our manufacturing program website to read more about IEI’s upcoming Community Forums focused on this issue.

manufacturing apprenticeship programs

Joseph DeFreese is just one of many students at Olympic High School participating in an apprenticeship program. See how these programs have been developed, how companies benefit, and what students learn in this featured video.

This video and many more can be found in the Voices Section of the Emerging Issues Commons