In recent years there has been a reset in our education system regarding emphasis on the sciences. After years of de-emphasis, we once again recognize the critical role that science needs to play in our school curriculums. An education system that places a priority on the sciences, produces many benefits to individuals, their families, and to our society. Several of those benefits are:
- creates well-paying jobs
- helps companies and our nation sustain long term economic growth
- keeps us globally competitive
- it is vital to our national security.
Part of this newfound educational emphasis is being introduced into our school systems via STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) programs. STEM is a broad term that embraces several academic disciplines. The term is typically used to address an education policy and/or curriculum in school systems. It can have a real impact on how we structure our future workforce development programs.
Intrex, being a manufacturer of precision CNC aerospace machined components, is very supportive of these STEM initiatives. We have been involved with educational institutions that provide STEM resources. Front Range Community College (FRCC) and Community College of Denver (CCD) both have excellent machining programs for both manual and CNC machining.
In addition to working with the community college system, we have also been involved with organizations that promote and train in relevant manufacturing areas:
- Colorado Advanced Manufacturing Association (CAMA). It is the only statewide, member-based trade association exclusively dedicated to advancing manufacturing in Colorado. www.coloradomanufacturing.org
- Manufacturers Edge. They provide Colorado Manufacturing companies with expertise in results-driven methodologies, best practices, and innovative technologies. www.manufacturersedge.com
- National Robotics League (NRL). The NRL is the only job-driven, project-based STEM learning experience that was created by industry to solve its biggest issue – recruiting a future workforce. www.nrlcolorado.org
All the above-mentioned organizations are involved and dedicated to STEM initiatives. They provide training in the vital disciplines necessary for developing and maintaining competitive manufacturing companies. Some of the training they provide are:
- LEAN principles
- Demand Management
- CNC machining
Their programs touch upon most aspects of the manufacturing process from systems integration to multi-axis machining to government regulations to quality standards. In addition to their specific training offerings, they sponsor tours and seminars, that gives member companies wonderful exposure to the latest technologies.
We are mindful that most of the general population is not aware of what we in the manufacturing world do. CNC machining is foreign to most. We want to bring awareness to the general population of not only what we “make”, but the career opportunities it can present to thousands of households. STEM is an excellent vehicle to make this awareness possible. A well-educated STEM workforce will help build a strong manufacturing base, which is a win for everybody. We want to do our part in creating interesting, sustainable, clean jobs, that focus on manufacturing efficiencies, social responsibility, and environmental sustainability.