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Preparing Advanced Manufacturing Technicians for the Workplace: Perspectives from Rural Employers

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

College Industry Partnerships Division Technical Session 1

Tagged Division

College Industry Partnerships

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Paper Authors


Faye R. Jones Florida State University Orcid 16x16

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Faye R. Jones is a Senior Research Associate at Florida State University’s College of Communication and Information. Her research interests include STEM student outcomes and the exploration of student pathways through institutional research.

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Marcia A. Mardis Florida A&M University - Florida State University Orcid 16x16

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Marcia A. Mardis is a Professor and Associate Dean at Florida State University's College of Communication & Information and Associate Director of the Information Institute. Author of numerous publication and recipient of over two decades of federally funded research grants, Dr. Mardis' work focuses on professional identity creation, educational text and data mining, and technician education improvement.

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In this work-in-progress paper, we present the preliminary results of semi-structured interviews conducted with advanced manufacturing (AM) employers in rural communities to understand the workplace skills they seek. This study, part of a larger effort to document Northwest Florida’s rural AM employers’ desired competencies, identified employability skills valuable for entry-level technician positions. The employers who participated in this study represented the growing AM industry sub-sectors of timber, pipeline, and textiles. Our findings suggest that rural employers face challenges common to all AM employers: 1) the need for workplace skills, such as a strong commitment to teamwork and ongoing professional development; and 2) difficulties in encouraging employees’ transitions from job to career pathway, thus increasing their in-field persistence. These results have implications for educational institutions that offer AM degrees and for graduates who seek rural employment in the AM field.

Jones, F. R., & Mardis, M. A. (2020, June), Preparing Advanced Manufacturing Technicians for the Workplace: Perspectives from Rural Employers Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35078

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