Volume 17
No. 1

TA3 Connections
STEM, STEAM, and Dream!
TA3 International Symposium
June 2, 2014
Indianapolis, Indiana

Ivy Tech Community College in Indianapolis, Indiana will host the 2014 Trans-Atlantic Technology and Training Alliance International symposium on June 2, followed by members' events June 3-4.

The theme this year is "STEM, STEAM, and Dream: Educating an Imaginative and
Skilled Work Force." Researchers, practitioners, and employers will discuss the potential multidisciplinary learning and/or activities for enriching technical and vocational education and examples of exemplary practice. Employers claim to be looking more and more to their workforce for innovation and creativity and placing a higher value on cross-discipline cooperation and learning. 
Thirty years ago an organization representing the South's governors heralded the "Rise of the Renaissance Technician" in the modern community college. The term, while still relevant, has a new meaning in today's economy. Innovation today depends on technological competence but requires something more.
Higher education across the US and around the world is already moving to enhance innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurship with multidisciplinary learning, projects, and environments. Leading businesses are discovering the value of teaming engineers, line staff, marketing, and design on particularly vexing problems.
The plenary events will be followed by parallel sessions organized around best and innovative practices related to the main theme or other timely topics. 
Speakers will include:
  • Dr. Jill Cush, Director, Innotech, SouthWest College, Northern Ireland
  • Martha Ethredge Stark, Director, NSERVE
  • Dr. Fatma Mili, Head, Purdue University Department of Computer & Information Technology
  • Dr. Greg Rutherford, President, York Technical College, South Carolina
  • Dr. Craig Clark, Interim Vive President, Alfred State College, New York
  • Bob Schwartz, General Manager,Global Design & User Experience, General Electric (Invited)
  • Duncan McDougall, Director of Commercial & International Business, Glasgow
  • Clyde College, Scotland (Invited)
Workshops on:
  • Multi-disciplinary learning: Examples of efforts at colleges that integrate creative and STEM curricula or students through integrated curricula, classes, or projects.
  • Mixing it up in Makerspaces: Dedicated spaces such as Makerspaces, Fab Labs, or Tech Shops at community colleges with small-scale technologies to promote creativity, entrepreneurship, and innovative design and production for both technical and not-technical students.
  • New entry points to STEM for underserved populations: Boundary crossing careers requiring STEM skills while appealing to populations under-enrolled in conventional technical occupations, e.g., health, design, and entertainment technologies.

Register for the Symposium

News from Members and Friends of TA3 
Two Plus Two with NKU  
Gateway Community and Technical College in Covington, Kentucky and Northern Kentucky University announced a partnership called Gateway2NKU that will make earning a Bachelor's degree in northern Kentucky easier, quicker, and more affordable. The pathways begin at Gateway and end with a Bachelor's degree from NKU, with a seamless transition. It features dual admission with participants enrolled simultaneously at NKU and Gateway with access to activities and services at both places. 
"This is an example of how higher education institutions can work together to improve the quality of life," said Gateway President/CEO Ed Hughes. "Not only will students be able to earn an Associate's degree and Bachelor's degree in less time and spending less money, but this program will also allow Gateway and NKU to operate more efficiently and effectively by reducing the duplication of programs and services." 
Gateway students on a degree pathway will be able to take up to four NKU courses at Gateway's tuition rates, reducing cost while acclimating students to the NKU campus before transferring.
On January 28, a ten-year partnership between Gateway Community and Technical College and the Florence, Kentucky site of financial services company Citi received the prestigious national Bellwether Award for Workforce Development from the Community College Futures Assembly and the University of Florida. "In more than 1,200 national community colleges, this is one of the highest honors an institute can receive," said Dale F. Campbell, professor and director of the Community College Futures Assembly and Institute of Higher Education. The Gateway-Citi partnership emphasizes career development and provides resources to enable Citi employees to begin or complete college credentials. 
David Jones, Principal/CEO of Cambria College; John Clutton,Chair of Coleg Board; Nick Tyson, Executive Director of Engineering & the Build Environment; Mick Fleming, HR Manager at Airbus UK.
Queen's Anniversary Prize 
Colege Cambria in North Wales has been honored by the Queen for helping the £24 billion aerospace industry to take off in the UK. The school was awarded the prestigious Queen's Anniversary Prize for Further and Higher Education at a ceremony at St. James's Palace in London in November. Coleg Cambria Chair John Clutton and the Principal and Chief Executive, David Jones, attended the ceremony. These awards have a very intensive and demanding assessment process, and most are won by the UK's leading Universities. 
The Centre of Excellence for Aerospace Development has trained more than 5,000 learners since established in 2002 by the former Deeside College, which this year became part of Coleg Cambria with campuses in Connah's Quay, Northop, Wrexham and Llysfasi. The merger makes Colege Cambria the eighth largest higher education institution in the UK. The initiative resulted in Airbus employees at the wing-making factory in Broughton gaining more than 7,000 nationally recognized qualifications. The centre's staff were instrumental in setting up Airbus Academies in the UK, France, Germany, and Spain and work closely with other locally-based aerospace firms like Marshall Aerospace and Defense Group, Raytheon, Magellan, and Apple Aviation. 
This project has created a very positive impact at national, regional, and local levels and as such is well deserving of a national award that recognizes the achievements of Airbus learners, staff and the college as a whole.
National Workforce Team Gets Underway 
Last September South Central College (Minnesota) President Dr. Annette Parker was invited to serve on President Obama's Advanced Manufacturing Partnership (AMP) Steering Committee 2.0, which includes 19 leaders from industry, academia, and labor. AMP is part of a continuing effort to maintain U.S. leadership in the emerging technologies that will create high-quality manufacturing jobs and enhance global competitiveness. The Steering Committee established five work teams to address specific areas aimed at driving advances in U.S. innovation and workforce capabilities related to manufacturing. Dr. Parker co-chairs the "Workforce" work team along with Eric Spiegel, President of Siemens. The team is taking a holistic approach to scalable and sustainable solutions to the talent pipeline challenge, beginning with childhood education and ending with long-term employment models. Outcomes will be in the form of playbooks and implementation pilots in the following areas:
  • Portable and Stackable Credentialing System: Increase nationally portable, stackable credentialing systems through certifications and work-based learning elements.
  • Regional Apprenticeship/Internship Models: Establish regional work/project-based study apprenticeship models in partnership with labor market intermediaries.
  • Bridging Modules for Veterans: Develop practical competency based "bridging modules" for transitioning Veterans focused on private sector manufacturing skills certifications and apprenticeships with Department of Labor/GI Bill funding and support.
  • Advanced Manufacturing Education: Increase career pathways and "dual credit" opportunities across education (K-12, community colleges, and universities) to increase the number of qualified technical employees in advanced manufacturing.

Dr. Parker will be assisted by three subject matter experts for the subcommittee: Dr. Keith Bird, Corporation for a Skilled Workforce; Hope Cotner, Center for Occupational Research and Development; and Joseph P. Dragone, Superintendent of Ballston Spa Central School District.

Merger in Scotland
One of the longest-standing members of the TA3, Anniesland College in Scotland, has merged with Cardonald and Langside colleges to form a new super-college, Glasgow Clyde CollegePart of a wave of college mergers across Scotland, the new Glasgow Clyde will have around 20,000 students and will operate from three campuses. The new super-college will be led by Principal and Chief Executive Susan Walsh, one of Scotland's best known and most experienced college principals. The merger is a response to the Scottish Government's reform of post-16 education in Scotland, the biggest shake-up in education in a generation. Approved in June 2013, the new name was chosen by students and a competition to design a new college logo. Craig Black, a BA student in Creative Industries, designed the winning logo. 
Principal Susan Walsh said "We have a proud tradition of excellence in education to maintain and I know we have the skills, expertise, and commitment not to let ourselves, our students, or our predecessor colleges down. We are innovative, creative, and professional and most of all we focus on what we need to do to get it right for our students. This is the start of something inspirational and aspirational; a place people want to be part of. From now on being 'Clyde-built' means something new, and something very special."

Collaboration in Minneapolis

A new collaborative effort of Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC) and Augsburg College, a private Lutheran college in the Minneapolis metropolitan area, has resulted in an accelerated 34-month baccalaureate in professional nursing (BSN). Augsburg College's nursing department focuses on culturally competent care and a slight majority of MCTC's nursing students self-identify as members of cultural or ethnic minorities. This collaboration will increase the diversity of the nursing workforce in Minnesota. Students are dually admitted to Augsburg College and MCTC when accepted into the professional nursing program. After a program of study for five consecutive terms they graduate with an Associate Degree. Those who meet the grade point criteria and pass the National Council Licensing Exam-RN can continue at Augsburg College and complete a baccalaureate program in as little as 12 months. 

New Grants 
Howard Community College in Maryland received workforce development grants for innovative programs in IT and healthcare under Maryland's Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training initiative. The grants provide for basic skills and occupational instruction to students lacking those skills to succeed. Twenty students, some without a high school diploma/GED or proficient English skills, will receive basic skills training while learning to become certified in A+. The grant will provide 150 hours of instruction, internships with stipends, and assistance in job placement. HCC also received an EARN planning grant from the Maryland Department of Labor to investigate workforce needs of the Mobile Health Devices industry. The College will identify training needs and skills gap for this new sector, which includes applications like sensors for measurement of chemicals, dietary intake, physical activity, and psychosocial stressors and addictive substances. The College is partnering with entrepreneurs designing products and with institutions such as The Center for Health, Information and Decision Systems (CHIDS) at the University of Maryland to determine how best to meet the training and workforce needs for this new industry.

Learning About Sustainability

Hans Lehman and Elisabeth Ibing Holm, representing TA3 member EUC-Syd in Sønderborg, Denmark, will be traveling to Oberlin, Ohio to learn about the Oberlin Project and how that city became known as America's most sustainable community. They will explore a continuing relationship between Oberlin and Sønderborg, which is moving toward full sustainability through its Project Zero project. Director Peter Rathje spoke about Project Zero at the TA3's 2010 symposium in Asheviile on "Community Colleges Supporting Sustainable Communities." The EUC-Syd team will be particularly interested in the roles that educational institutions have played. 


Carl Hite Retires, is Honored, New President Named 

The former president of Cleveland State Community College in Tennessee, an active TA3 member, was recently honored when the community college officially changed the name of its Math and Science Building to the "Carl Hite Math and Science Building." The naming of buildings, facilities, grounds, and organizational units of institutions for individuals who have made significant contributions to society is considered "an honored tradition of higher education." The Tennessee Board of Regents approved the naming of the building to honor Dr. Hite for his long and outstanding service to the campus and community. He was named President Emeritus of Cleveland State.


The Tennessee Board of Regents has selected the college's next president, Dr. William Seymour, formerly Vice President of Jackson State Community College. The TA3 looks forward to working with Dr. Seymour. Dr. Hite was named President Emeritus of Cleveland State.


New Advanced Manufacturing Center

To meet the demand for skilled workers in advanced manufacturing, TA3 member Alfred State College will build a new $5 million Sustainable Advanced Manufacturing Center (SAMC) at the School of Applied Technology on its Wellsville campus. The 18,000 to 20,000 square foot Center will be funded by a SUNY 2020 Retooling the Southern Tier grant. The SAMC will integrate existing machine tool, welding, and drafting/CAD in a efficient, sustainable facility where students will learn state-of-the-art techniques of sustainable manufacturing using LED lighting, HVAC, and motor upgrades as well as process improvements through waste reduction and LEAN Six Sigma processes. The center also will be used for prototyping and to assist manufacturers in the development of new products and systems. The Center will include high-end monitoring and automation systems similar to those installed in the Zero Energy Demonstration Home previously constructed by students on the Wellsville campus. The ultimate goal is to educate students in the construction and manufacturing trades in sustainable system construction, operation, and maintenance. The new facility will be primarily open lab space for welding and machine tools with appropriate lecture space and a CAD lab.


TKNIKA in New European Network

Evidence from working with employers across Europe suggests that there is still a mismatch between skills needed by employers, i.e. vocational education and training (VET) demand, and those offered by VET providers. TA3 member TKNIKA is part of ELVETE, a new European Employer-Led Vocational Education and Training Network to improve vocational education and training by focusing more on skills that employers need from students in the VET sector. The 12-member network, led by the UK's University of Wolverhampton, will draw on good practice in participating countries, national and EU policy frameworks, and evidence of effective employer-driven curriculum development to design a system for the development of model system for 14 to 19 year old VET students that engages employers in curriculum development.  

Reports, Publications, and Meetings 
Northern Ireland's Department for Employment and Learning released an interim and consultation document last month, passed on by Assistant Director of Skills and Industry Division Michael Gould, titled Review of Apprenticeships. The paper seeks views over the next 12 weeks on proposed new apprenticeship systems of learning. The program is aimed at new and existing employees in new kinds of jobs. The apprenticeships will begin at upper secondary level or higher, involve training beyond specific job needs, lead to higher professional technical training or higher education, be portable within the sector and support mobility across sectors, and take advantage of international opportunities for placements and exchanges. They also must be at least two years in duration, not the 12 months programs typical in the UK, which was recommended on the OECD report "A Skills Beyond High School Review of England." The goal of preparing for the world of work, not a specific job, is based on the German system. Clear paths to higher education are considered essential as is access irrespective of age. The policies will be finalized by Summer of 2014.
The Council of the European Union declared a "European Alliance for Apprenticeships" in Luxembourg this past October as its commitment to addressing "high levels of youth unemployment and inactivity." The declaration urges members to increase their use of apprenticeships and other work-based learning schemes to improve transition from work to school and skill matches. The declaration recommends, among other things, high learning standards; social partnerships to design, implement and govern systems; offering transferable skills across multiple sectors- especially new and innovative emerging sectors; and facilitating participation of students with fewer opportunities with career guidance, preparatory training, and other support. 
Ivy Tech Vice President Rebecca Nickoli published "Preparing Community College Students for a Global Economy" in the Winter (Volume 19-3) 2014 issue of Leadership: Journal for Post Secondary Leaders. The article uses a grant from the U.S. Department of Education to internationalize the curriculum, the college's sister college relationship with Wuxi Professional College of Science and Technology, and Ivy Tech's partnership with Siemens Technical Academy in Berlin around mechatronics to illustrate ways colleges can change their long-term model for working with companies to accommodate the different training needs that might arise when a business has international outreach.

Hanne Shapiro, co-founder of TA3, has released a new research study of Denmark's "Hidden Champions; The Danish Industrial motor of growth" for the Danish Technological Institute. These are the small and mid-sized export oriented firms that have proven most successful. The greatest difference between these best performers and average firms is in the greater dependency on skilled employees, those with general and tertiary vocational qualifications. Further, "58% of the hidden champions have work organization practices characterized by employee involvement to a very great extent or a great extent. Almost all of the hidden champions have a management philosophy which to some extent is based on employee involvement and the delegation of responsibilities."

Earlier this month Lars Møller Bentsen participated in and spoke at a European Monitoring Conference in Brussels on Work-based Learning and Apprenticeships. The two-day event was sponsored by the European Alliance for Apprenticeships, EAfA, formed in July 2013. The conference launches the Thematic Network Work-based Learning and Apprenticeships (NetWBL), one of the actions supported by the Alliance.

TA3 members Jose Luis Fernandez Maure and TKNIKA have been instrumental in organizing an International Conference on Technical and Vocational Education and Training for the Basque Government, to be held on May 28, 29 and 30 in Donostia-San Sebastian (site of 2011 TA3 meetings). The international conference will address new trends in the TVET system, innovation, and applied research and present the new Basque Law on Vocational Education and Training. Speakers representing the European Commission will issue guidelines on new policies for the European Countries on the topic of the conference. Five members of the Steering Committee for the new strategy adopted by President Obama´s administration on advanced manufacturing will explain the strategy to be developed in the coming years. Representatives from Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, and Basque Country will present applied research issues. TA3 member Annette Parker will be one of the speakers. Participants also will have the opportunity to understand the main lines of a new project being developed in Finland by INNO OMNIA. Delegates from around the world will attend the meeting. The conference is expected to be a milestone in the development of international relationships and to open doors for new forms of collaboration.

Alfred State College will host the 2014 New York State STEM Summer Institute through the New York State STEM Education Collaborative on July 13-I5, 2014. The conference is the third such event and covers STEM education from middle school through college. The Institute will take place on the college's newly renovated Physical and Life Sciences building, which earned a platinum award for engineering excellence from New York's American Council of Engineering Companies and is now officially LEED Gold certified.
Corporation for a Skilled Workforce (CSW) embarked on a multi-year initiative to increase the quality and use of competency-based credentials across the country. CSW's new report, Making a Market for Competency-Based Credentials, is aimed at articulating a foundation for our collective work by analyzing the credentialing landscape, identifying promising credentialing approaches, and assessing what is needed to create a clear and compelling credentials marketplace. The report compiles what we and the many leaders who informed this narrative have learned to date.  Last fall, CSW held a webinar series, "Making a Market for Competency-Based Credentials." Slides from all three webinars in the series are available here:
Looking Back
25 years ago in April, the forerunner of the TA3, the Consortium for Manufacturing Competitiveness (CMC), met at Trident Technical College in South Carolina and announced a subcontract to Stuart Rosenfeld at Southern Growth Policies Board for the CMC from the newly formed Hollings Center at the University of South Carolina, which was the precursor to the Manufacturing Extension Partnership. It was NIST's first effort to formally recognize the role of community colleges in industrial modernization. Jim Jacobs and Jim McKenney participated as members of the CMC's new Advisory Board. 
15 years ago in December, the TA3 held its international TA3 business meeting and symposium on technical education hosted by the Kuopio Institute of Technology in Finland. Speakers included the heads of the Confederation of Finnish Industry and Employers, Ministry of Education, Employment, and Economic Development, and Union of Professional Engineers in Finland. TA3 members visited two Danish colleges before traveling to Finland, where they visited a Finnish Polytechnic, Kuopio Academy of Crafts and Design, and various Finnish companies. One of the highlights was an outdoor fish fry on a lake where members were treated to a spectacular view of the northern lights.

10 years ago, Regional Technology Strategies (RTS) received a grant from the Ford Foundation to develop a plan to replicate the TA3 by forming multiple learning and innovation networks among community colleges. A plan was developed for a wide range of new networks based largely on the needs of different industry clusters. The plan subsequently led to networks developing curricula and services and sharing practices related to entrepreneurship, medical devices industries, new media sectors, crafts, hospitality, and sustainable food systems.
This year, TA3 secretariat Regional Technology Strategies (RTS) transitioned its role in managing the network to Corporation for a Skilled Workforce (CSW). CSW is excited to be working with members to find new ways to support engagement, learning exchanges, and partnership and program innovation.
Member Profile: Southern Regional College, Northern Ireland
Southern Regional College (SRC) is a Further and Higher Education College in the southern area of Northern Ireland in the United Kingdom. The College was formed on August 1st, 2007, when three further education colleges merged to become Southern Regional College. Southern Regional College now comprises the former FE colleges at Armagh, Newry, and Upper Bann. It is also the largest Further and Higher Education College in Northern Ireland outside of Belfast. There are a total of six campuses across the geographical region. The College's main campuses locations are:
  • Armagh (Lonsdale, Lisanally Lane, Hamiltonsbawn Road Industrial Estate)
  • Banbridge
  • Kilkeel
  • Lurgan
  • Newry (Patrick Street East, Patrick Street West, Greenbank, Model)
  • Portadown


The College offers a wide range of courses: in excess of 100 for full-time further education; more than 80 on a full-time and part-time higher education capacity, and over 1,320 (not counting those courses offered in the community) on a part-time vocational or recreational basis. At the further education level, SRC offers courses from Level 1-3 Certificates and Diplomas, through National Vocational Qualifications and A levels. Many of these are aimed at the full-time student market although many courses are also available on a part-time basis. The college also offers Apprenticeship Training programmes where students learn valuable trades to take into the workplace. SRC prides itself on offering students a diverse range of Higher Education learning experiences. Its broad ranging portfolio of higher level professional and technical courses ensures that all programmes-whether degrees, diplomas, certificates, or professional qualifications-are of a quality surpassing that offered at university. 


Within the eight Schools of the College SRC is confident that it can offer students qualifications with clear progression pathways and relevance to the world of work. The college currently enrolls over 36,000 students each year and has in excess of 1,100 members of staff. 


Community Learning Team

SRC students and Chief Executive Brian Doran celebrate award to college in recent college wide inspection.

Southern Regional College works with over 100 Community and Voluntary Groups covering over 1,500 square miles within the Southern Region advising on courses available for adults within their communities. SRC's dedicated Community Learning Team ensures that adults have access to learning and training to improve their knowledge, skills, and qualifications. Community Development Officers work with employers and community stakeholders to enable individuals, groups, and communities to participate in learning at a time and place which is accessible for everyone. 


An important part of the work involves providing education and other employment opportunities to residents of local Neighbourhood Renewal areas through Department of Social Development sponsored projects. In addition the team researches local area needs in order to provide relevant economic and social programmes that enable change to take place and assist people into employment and/or to improve community resources. 


These programmes are funded by the Department for Social Development (DSD) through its Southern Regional Development Office, the Big Lottery, and the European Social Fund. The College offers many programmes including Employ Me offering employability and vocational skills to the unemployed and economically inactive people of all ages. Big Lottery's Live and Learn Programme which aims to increase learning opportunities and promote well-being among Northern Ireland's most disadvantaged communities delivered a range of educational and support services to Migrant and Traveller. 


Successful completer of SPICE program, student Danielle Malcolm, celebrates with SRC Chief Excutive Brian Doran and Minister for Employment and Learning Dr. Stephen Farry.

The College received a prestigious AOC Beacon Award for this work in February 2014. The SPICE programme is designed specifically for young people aged 16-24 who are not currently in education, employment, or training across the Southern Region. The purpose of the programme is to offer training and courses to young people to retrain or simply acquire new skills. 



Southern Regional College has strong links with educational institutions around the world and regularly arranges both cultural and study exchanges. Such exchanges give students the opportunity to build on their learning abroad as well as providing partner institutions with the chance to let their own students have a taste of Northern Ireland. The College has also been successful in securing funding for over 40 innovative European projects under the EU Lifelong Learning Programme. 


Business Support

i3 is the Southern Regional College's (SRC's) business support centre. Building better business by promoting and supporting: Industry, Innovation, and Incubation. Its team of 20 Research Lecturers and Business Development Officers works with SRC and industry to bring the latest R&D from classroom to commerce while feeding business insights back into the curriculum. This cultivates a workforce fit for the future. The centre currently works with over 2,000 companies from across Northern Ireland, particularly in the southeastern region, and extending into the Republic of Ireland. The bulk of its services are either free or subsidized made possible with financing from InvestNI, the Department for Employment and Learning (DEL) and Intertrade Ireland. 


SRC is an award winning College, a centre of Excellence for teaching and learning and offers students an intellectually and socially stimulating environment.

Join Our Mailing List
Facebook   Twitter   Pinterest   LinkedIn
Corporation for a Skilled Workforce