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Meeting Workforce Demand through Industrial Partnership: A Case in Louisiana

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2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

October 19, 2019

Conference Session

Academe/Industry Collaboration

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

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Paper Authors


Nabin Sapkota Northwestern State University of Louisiana Orcid 16x16

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Nabin Sapkota is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Engineering Technology at Northwestern State University. He received a B. E. degree in Production/Industrial Engineering from the Regional Engineering College, Tiruchirappalli, Tamilnadu, India and a M.S. and Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from the University of Central Florida (Orlando, FL, USA). He has a diverse expertise in the areas of Operations Research, Simulation, Quality Engineering, and Nonlinear Dynamical Systems. He previously worked on projects related to dynamic routing of emergency vehicles, modeling consumer sensitivity for product design and perceived usability, dynamic control charts in statistical process control, application of evolving self-organizing maps, etc. His current research interests include prediction of nonlinear chaotic system involving human emotion in social media, difference in muscular exertion in different ethnic workers in automobile industries, simulation, and advanced application of statistical techniques. Dr. Sapkota is a Certified Six Sigma Green Belt.

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Laurie D. Morrow Central Louisiana Technical Community College

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Laurie Morrow currently serves as the campus administrator for the Central Louisiana Technical Community College, Natchitoches Campus, Natchitoches, LA. Her career began as an accounting instructor evolving into student services and finally administration. Areas of expertise include program accreditation, curriculum development, and workforce development through customized training. Ms. Morrow has been and continues to be instrumental in the development and implementation of the Advanced Manufacturing Technician Program of Louisiana.

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Governmental and nongovernmental agencies nationwide anticipate an ever-increasing workforce demand due to the inevitable retiring of our current “baby boomer” population. In the past, several initiatives to meet workforce demand through cooperative educational model were short lived. The reasons for discontinuation of such programs can be attributed to either lack of planning or not enough success compared to the anticipated level of success from the program. In this paper, authors explain how a Modified Apprenticeship Program (MAP) tailored to meet the needs of local industries can be sustained without expending a large amount of resources. The example for this case is ‘Advanced Manufacturing Technician’ (AMT). Several years ago Northwestern State University (NSU) of Louisiana partnered with Central Louisiana Technical Community College (CLTCC) and collaborated with local and regional manufacturers to offer a two-year Advanced Manufacturing Technician (AMT) degree program. This program is not a typical college degree program. Modeled after Toyota Maintenance System, this program provides the opportunity for a work/study environment to the students where they are honed to become a well-versed technician with knowledge and skills in core manufacturing practices (safety, 5S, lean manufacturing, problem-solving and machine reliability) as well as six essential professional behaviors (attendance, initiative, diligence, interpersonal relations, communication, and teamwork). In this paper, authors who have been with the program since its inception explain the process of bringing local and regional industries on board as to achieve the common objective of meeting technical workforce demand in the region and in the country. The paper explains the process to initiate such programs and highlights potential issues that can arise while launching a successful program. Industrial partners’ testimonials, interactions in addition to authors’ own experience in this regard have been used as the basis for this study’s findings.

Sapkota, N., & Morrow, L. D. (2019, June), Meeting Workforce Demand through Industrial Partnership: A Case in Louisiana Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--33102

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