June 20, 2010
June 20, 2010
June 23, 2010
15.262.1 - 15.262.15
CareerME: Encouraging an Advanced Manufacturing Worker Pipeline
Abstract: Advanced manufacturers face a shortage of skilled workers, a problem exacerbated by the negative image of manufacturing careers. To overcome the outdated view of manufacturing, the National Center for Manufacturing Education (NCME), in conjunction with the Society of Manufacturing Engineers Education Foundation (SME- EF), has developed a website that takes a unique approach by providing an interactive on- line location for students in grades 11-14, their counselors, parents, and teachers to explore careers across the country. The site www.careerME.org provides access to information at national, state, and regional levels on highly technical and lucrative advanced manufacturing careers; educational opportunities; specific companies; state-of- the-art technologies; etc., all presented in a dynamic and interactive way our internet savvy high school and college students would expect. This paper describes the interest and motivation leading to unique implementation of a web portal to help improve student interest to explore about advanced manufacturing and education leading to careers. The site also encourages educators and industry professionals to actively participate as content providers. Finally, influences to adopt social media technologies further drove development of more features that promote collaborative relationships between students, teachers, and industry. Examples of how social media concepts plan to be used used in the careerME.org website called my.careerme, are also explored.
1. Introduction How to Address a Need When the project conceptualization process started in early summer 2008 for the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) Education Foundation1, the idea was to create a web portal to show high school and college students, primarily between grades 11-14, that there are and will continue to be lucrative, high paying jobs in manufacturing; despite what is printed in the newspaper or viewed on T.V. Students should be encouraged to pursue an education in an advanced manufacturing career.
project based curricula and activities that excite and engage students in cutting edge 2 . This is one of three important missions that have led SME-EF to invest in more than $3.5 million over the past 29 years sponsoring many diverse youth programs that help students explore careers in STEM. The careerME.org web project supports this mission by helping students learn about manufacturing, from any location across the United States, through internet access. During the design phase, our project team investigated almost twenty career exploration websites to understand the breadth, depth and how effectively the websites presented the career information. All sites offered good information; many used text descriptions and images, some displaying videos on their web pages. It was evident that these sites were created to meet very specific needs related to targeted industries, school programs, regional workforce development efforts, different careers, or trade organizations, to list just a few examples.
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