• Jim Brown contributed a guest post to the Siemens PLM Community blog discussing the opportunity for food and beverage companies to leverage digitalization and the digital enterprise to combat market disruption from new, innovate companies that are challenging current industry leaders. The post offers several ways that consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies can get started on their digital journey, achieve tangible business value, and combat challengers like Blue Apron and Amazon Fresh that are disrupting the status quo.The full post, Surviving the New Competitive Landscape in Food and Beverage, can be … [ read more ]

    Digitalization in Food and Beverage (guest post)
  • Dassault Systèmes continues to make significant progress on the 3DExperience vision they laid out 5 years ago. This strategy has seen them transform from a software vendor offering distinct solutions for a variety of functional areas to a company that leads with a strong business transformation message backed up by a platform of solutions. I dropped "PLM" from the title of last year's strategy review. I feel even better about that decision a year later. They now have a broad software suite brought to market as solutions tailored to support key initiatives in the vertical industries they serve. As times goes … [ read more ]

    Dassault Systèmes Strategy 2017+
  • The Finding PLM to Fit Mid-Sized High-Tech Companies ebook explains how smaller companies in the high technology industry find themselves stuck between full-featured Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) systems that feel out of reach and less capable solutions including cloud-based file sharing or very basic data management applications. They know they can’t afford the errors and inefficiency inherent to informal data and process management, but can’t afford a large time, resource, and financial investment to fix their problems. Unfortunately simple solutions like web file sharing, while very attractive, fall … [ read more ]

    Finding PLM to Fit Mid-Sized High-Tech Companies (ebook)
  • The How-to Guide to Transitioning from 2D CAD to 3D CAD  shares best practices for moving from 2D to 3D. The guide shares the reasons you should consider going from 2D to 3D, common challenges to avoid, and benefits enjoyed by other companies who gone to 3D. The guide then shares advice to make your switch from 2D to 3D CAD a success. The recommendations were developed by analyzing the responses of Top Performing companies and comparing them to Average Performing companies.This eBook is one in a series of three:Transitioning from 2D CAD to 3D CAD Migrating from 3D CAD to a new 3D CAD Adopting … [ read more ]

    Best Practices for Going from 2D to 3D CAD
  • The Reducing Cost of Quality in CPG report shares perspectives from a survey of over 175 CPG companies to determine how Top Performers manage consumer packaged goods quality. The research finds that these leading companies are able to achieve better quality results with lower internal costs. The report analyzes their processes, organizational structures, and enabling technology to determine how they can get better quality results without placing a financial burden on the business.Please enjoy the summary below, or click the report to download a PDF overview (free of charge, no registration … [ read more ]

    Reducing Cost of Quality for Consumer Packaged Goods (survey report)

Developing the STEM Workforce of the Future

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Developing the STEM Workforce Paper PDF on Tech-Clarity Site

Developing the STEM Workforce of the Future: Partnering to Meet the Demand for Engineering and Manufacturing Talent discusses the shortcomings of the current education system in producing a sufficient number of qualified candidates to fill engineering and manufacturing jobs. The study doesn’t focus on the gap, but instead identifies some of the causes and explores how manufacturers are developing more qualified candidates by partnering with academics, government, and software vendors. The key finding from the research is that these partnerships are successfully augmenting the current, theoretically-oriented educational approach with hands-on experience.

Please enjoy the summary below, or click the report or title to download the full PDF (free of charge, no registration required, courtesy of Siemens PLM).

Watch the related episode of Tech-Clarity TV, Partnering to Develop the STEM Workforce of the Future.

Table of Contents

  • Executive Overview
  • Understand The Implications of the Technical Workforce Gap
  • Recognize Industry’s Needs and Perspective
  • Evaluate Current Academic Programs
  • Evolve Academic Programs
  • Governments’ Role
  • Recognize the Growing Role of Software Providers
  • Partner to Develop the Workforce of the Future
  • Listen to the Student’s Perspective
  • Learn from Success Stories – Greenpower
  • Learn from Success Stories – EcoCAR
  • Learn from Success Stories – Others
  • Conclusion
  • Recommendations
  • About the Author

Executive Overview

Not too long ago the term “STEM” didn’t mean much to most of us. In recent years, however, numerous studies show that much of the world faces an engineering and manufacturing workforce shortage. This casts a lot of attention on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. There are a variety of causes for the technical skills gap, including:

  • Increased demand due to the manufacturing renaissance, recovering economies, and “re-shoring” manufacturing closer to demand driving greater need for technically qualified employees
  • A large number of skilled, experience employees reaching retirement age

This paper doesn’t go into depth on this gap. This issue has been well documented and discussed at national and international levels. Instead it focuses on the implications of the gap on the manufacturing industry and explores practical solutions to address it. A healthy manufacturing industry demands a reliable pipeline of qualified, capable individuals trained in STEM disciplines. As Vass Theodoracatos, Program Manager, GM Vehicle Engineering STEM Outreach of General Motors simply states, “There is an extreme need for well-trained and innovative talent to enter the workforce, not only for the future needs of General Motors, but for the industry as a whole.” There are many challenges to developing this workforce ranging from garnering interest in STEM at a young age all the way through graduating (and retaining) qualified employees with the right training.

One of the biggest gaps in today’s educational approach to filling the STEM demand, and perhaps the biggest opportunity for improvement in developing the future workforce, is including hands-on experience to augment theoretical learning. “The way people learn is through an applied project where they can apply theory to a very complex problem and add their creativity, ambition, enthusiasm, and the skills of the team,” shares Kristen De La Rosa, Argonne National Laboratory Director of the DOE Advanced Vehicle Technology Competitions. “That’s how they become leaders.”

Industry, academics, governments, and software companies are partnering to help attract, develop, and retain the technical workforce of the future by developing hands-on, real-world learning experiences for students of all ages. These partnerships offer short- and long-term solutions to address the technical workforce gap. One industry insider who has researched this issue extensively is Michael Richey, PhD, Associate Technical Fellow, Engineering Education Research of Boeing. As Dr. Richey shares, “The current state of education is not working. I partner with universities to close gaps in our current workforce.” This paper shares examples of successful partnerships and identifies the common factors that make them successful, including:

  • Practical, engaging experiences
  • Real, industrial-strength processes and tools
  • Involved mentors
  • Committed leadership and funding

SPEAK YOUR MIND

  1. Hi Jim –
    Nice paper, I couldn’t agree with you more about the need to get application-focused courses into the engineering curriculum. In our Industrial and Systems Engineering and our Engineering Management programs at Oakland University, we have been embedding teams of our undergraduate Senior Design students on projects at local companies (we are blessed with our location in Rochester MI, there are lots of companies in a 15 mile radius of campus). This semester we have teams working at GM’s Orion Plant and at Beaumont-Troy Hospital, last semester they were at Rayconnect – the teams work closely with company employees and spend a significant amount of their time on-site.
    In addition, we are partnering with various companies (Siemens PLM, Sustainable Lean, Fulcrum Edge, CSG Advisors, etc.) to develop application-focused elective courses for our students. Info. on some of these courses is at:

    http://www.oakland.edu/view_news.aspx?nid=11494

    http://automationalley.force.com/external/a2_nws_newsdetail?id=a0M6000000H8rCtEAJ

    http://www.oakland.edu/Newsletter/ViewNewsletter.aspx?x=YTn6r2ViapMp%2fcdugk8Rzg%3d%3d

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