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The Future of the Workforce: Meet the Change-makers III

April 29, 2022 @ 11:00 am - 3:00 pm

NextFlex Roundtable: Creating a Skilled Talent Pipeline to Strengthen US Manufacturing

About this Event

NextFlex staff and special guests provide encouragement to students during a virtual FlexFactor Final Pitch earlier this year.

As part of a larger commitment to support NextFlex workforce development partners, NextFlex is providing public platforms for thought leaders to share their visions for and successes in training the workforce of the future. For the second installment of our new online roundtable series, The Workforce of the Future: Meet the Changemakers, we will explore how academic-industry partnerships can bolster innovation in the workforce through applied learning and other practices to increase students’ preparation for employment in the advanced manufacturing sector.

Technology and innovation drive growth in the manufacturing sector and, in turn, require a highly skilled workforce that can adapt rapidly to technology changes. However, a manufacturing skills gap exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic could possibly lead to 2.1 million jobs unfilled by 2030[1]. To effectively close this gap and prepare students for careers in advanced manufacturing, community colleges and industry increasingly see the need to work more closely to provide students with a range of hands-on experiences and practical learning essential to become competitive and competent candidates.

Recognizing the need to blend technical education and professional experience, NextFlex and Evergreen Valley College have partnered with local industry to launch a new Advanced Manufacturing Technology (AMT) program. The AMT pathway is a two-year certificate program that focuses on both the theoretical and applied learning essential for a technician in the advanced manufacturing sector. Prior to graduation, students are exposed to concepts like troubleshooting unexpected problems, manufacturing best practices, industry standards and high-volume production – all difficult topics to cover in a classroom and crucial for success in today’s technology-driven manufacturing sector.

The program was launched in AY 2020-2021 with a small group of 24 students led by three industry-based adjuncts. The pilot demonstrated impressive results – of the inaugural class, 11 students participated in work-based learning experiences, and all were placed in full time industry positions.

[1] Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute study, May 4, 2021


2:00PM – 6:00PM EST

  1. Emcee Opening – Terri Burgess Sandu, Director of Talent and Business Innovation, LCCC
  2. LCCC Welcome – Dr. Marcia Ballinger, President, LCCC
  3. FlexFactor Student Demonstration Showcase – Facilitated by Ron Jantz, Digital Media Coordinator, LCCC
  4. NextFlex Welcome and Introductions
    • Dr. Malcolm J. Thompson, Executive Director, NextFlex
    • Leanne Caret, EVP and Senior Advisor, The Boeing Company
    • The Honorable Martin J. Walsh, US Secretary of Labor
    • Jagadeesh Pamulapati, Deputy Director, Research, Technology and Laboratories (Acting), Department of Defense
  5. Roundtable Discussion – Facilitated by Ms. Courtney Power, Deputy Director, Workforce Development, NextFlex
    • The Honorable Martin J. Walsh, US Secretary of Labor
    • Leanne Caret, EVP and Senior Advisor, The Boeing Company
    • Zachary Kiehl, CEO and Cofounder, Sentinel
    • Henry Cialone, President & CEO, EWI
    • Marcia Ballinger, President, LCCC
    • Tracy Albers, President and CEO, rapid prototype + manufacturing LLC (rp+m)
  6. Concluding Remarks – Ms. Terri Burgess Sandu, Director of Talent and Business Innovation, LCCC


April 29, 2022
11:00 am - 3:00 pm