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New Advanced Manufacturing Technology Curriculum Designed to Serve the Workforce Development Needs of NextFlex Members

By Emily McGrath, Deputy Director of Workforce Development, NextFlex

Evergreen Valley College (EVC), San Jose, CA, in partnership with NextFlex and local manufacturing companies, is working to create a comprehensive talent pipeline to address the need for a robust, local advanced manufacturing workforce. The initiative is based on a broad approach that links three related platforms: K-12 FlexFactor® students, EVC’s new Advanced Manufacturing Technology (AMT) curriculum, and NextFlex’s Learn & Earn program that helps college students transition into the workplace. The union of these three programs delivers much-needed talent to local manufacturers by raising awareness of the opportunities that exist in advanced manufacturing careers and creating education pathways for students to develop skills that local manufacturers are looking for. This in turn allows for a seamless integration of this new talent into their workforce.

Through this holistic approach, EVC is actively increasing and diversifying the workforce pipeline that supports the broader Silicon Valley industrial community. Through the local implementation of FlexFactor, NextFlex’s flagship workforce development program, this new pathway connects a broad population of students to tech sector careers, including those who had not previously considered a STEM-based pathway. FlexFactor is designed to orient and integrate students into EVC’s education pathways through a facilitated college admissions process in which the high school students are enrolled in the college and participate in a customized college tour that highlights programs of study related to advanced manufacturing.

An integral step in the pathway is EVC’s newly developed Advanced Manufacturing Technology (AMT) curriculum, which will be piloted with a small cohort in the fall of 2019. The AMT program is an innovative approach to education based on the highly-successful cooperative learning model embraced by education and industry members across the high-tech sector.  The program

After students have completed their first year, which is comprised of a foundational curriculum that includes statistics, technical writing, and development of specific technical competencies, the program integrates a Learn & Earn experience designed to drive the development of the knowledge and skills required for students to transition smoothly into employment. Through this combination of traditional instruction and foundational concepts, hands-on lab-based learning, and work-based learning, students emerge from the program with the range of theoretical knowledge, technical, and professional skills needed to thrive in the multi-disciplinary design and manufacturing environments of Industry 4.0.

Through this partnership, EVC, NextFlex, and the advanced manufacturing community are actively building the next generation workforce that will ensure local companies have the talent they need to design, develop, manufacture, operate and maintain the products, equipment, processes, and services of the future. The AMT curriculum was developed as part of the value we deliver to Learning Program customers through consulting services, and we can bring these concepts to other geographic ecosystems with similar needs. Learn more at www.NextFlex.us/learning-programs.

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