Workforce Ready: 3 Disruptions Shaping the Future of Technical Education

Jan Moore - Vice President for Economic Development at Ogeechee Technical College

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The traditional model of education in America must be disrupted. The way we teach, train and prepare students for the workforce can't be the same as it was in 1950.

The workforce is evolving faster than education can keep up, and if we don't adapt, the skills gap will only grow deeper.

Jan Moore has seen this reality firsthand. As Vice President for Economic Development at Ogeechee Technical College, her job is to make sure the region has the skilled talent it needs to meet employer demand - and that includes the incumbent workforce. And recently, that need has grown exponentially:

Hyundai is investing in a $5.5 billion campus locally. That has far-reaching implications, bringing in other business to the area to the tune of $20 billion, resulting in 14,000 - 16,000 additional people that will be needed for the workforce.

These are highly-automated facilities, and it's Jan's job to create the training structures to sustain a talent pipeline of new and incumbent workers. That kind of project means disrupting the old model of technical education and thinking outside the box.

We sat down with Jan to hear her innovative approaches to workforce readiness, including 3 ways technical education must be disrupted.

3 Big Takeaways from this episode:

  1. Modern technical education requires a layering of industrial technology with data: Today's production, operations and maintenance workers need a broad skillset covering base technologies (mechanical, electrical, electronics, fluid power, motor control, PLCs, robotics), layered with smart technologies (smart sensors and devices, networking, IIoT) and topped with data (AI tools, data analytics, predictive maintenance).
  2. Train to retain - it's the employer's responsibility to continue upskilling their workforce: Technology is always evolving, and workers need consistent training & upskilling opportunities throughout their careers. As a result, employers must become partners in education. Jan shares how non-credit apprenticeships have skyrocketed, combining classroom learning, on the job training, certifications and rapid time scales to get employees new skills and new opportunities at the company. That's value for the apprentice and the employer, resulting in happy employees who stick around.
  3. 3 disruptions needed in technical education - apprenticeships, third party credentials, and timing: We dive into these three factors that can help disrupt the traditional model of learning. With this new method, speed to degree is key. With smaller time blocks of focused training that lead to third party certifications, individuals can get the skills they need that are relevant to their employer. Hear about one case where learners went through a 12-week training program, earned 8 credentials from the Smart Automation Certification Alliance, and came out with a higher level of skill and guaranteed 40% raise upon completion.


Learn more about Ogeechee Technical College:

Or learn more about Economic Development & Apprenticeship at Ogeechee Technical College

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