Preparation For Today's Industries
Participation By Industry
The Necessity Of "Soft Skills
Students Tour Amazon Fulfillment Center
Kent School District members of the Student Leadership Council take a tour of the new Amazon fulfillment facility. Students were able to see some of the sorting robots and packaging centers within the warehouse and were shown how math and engineering knowledge affects the day-to-day operations.
Talent Pool Preparation For Today's Industries
We seek to improve both the quality of learning and the outcome of employability for students. One of the biggest challenges is in creating an educational experience with which students will connect while at the same time helping to build skills with true labor market value. This should be true even for those which may not necessarily plan to pursue a traditional college trajectory.
We have observed an ever growing gap between the type of education obtained from grade school to post grad and the type of expertise necessary to be immediately valuable to an industry or particular employer. This has resulted in an ever shrinking pool of qualified talent for industry and unemployed or under employed graduates with mounting student debt.
The best way to develop instruction models that will deliver skill sets to large numbers of young new workforce Americans is for business and educational leaders to work together to leverage combined knowledge of industry and labor markets and integrate employment-oriented goals into academic educational programs. We’ve seen many local level industry sector partnerships which exist of economic necessity based on the availability of a regional workforce, this must evolve into nationwide joint-investment thinking. Your underwriting contribution will assist in additional research and analysis to understand and establish best practices that can bring new programs to scale.
Serving The Underserved
The role of community colleges in preparing the workforce of the future has a particular significance for first generation college students, rural, disadvantaged and underserved communities. Often these institutions may be the main or perhaps the only access point to higher education. If we are able encourage more community colleges and public universities to begin to incorporate STEM degree programs, training and certifications, it may offer underserved communities a clearer pathway to well-paying occupations along with a positive measure of social and economic mobility.
One of the most prevalent obstacles faced by educators in underserved communities is student engagement. There is the very real feeling that the information they are being given and asked to retain, is simply not applicable to their everyday lives. STEM by contrast is conceptual learning. This means using strategic thinking to tackle and solve unfamiliar problems. Students quickly begin to see how STEM principles are present and applicable in their own lives.
When thinking of underrepresentation in regards to science, technology, engineering and math careers, emphasis has been primarily on female students. However, we have become increasingly concerned with the number of Veterans, displaced workers and students attending schools which simply do not offer rigorous math and science courses. Academic Innovations is refining methods to reach these populations and expose them to STEM course work and concepts.
Our broadcast has been developed as an engine, driving viewers to explore the vast occupational opportunities that exist as potential career paths and to start early in acquiring all of the success specifics. Business organizations are invited to consider underwriting Academic Innovations whose mission is making a significant contribution to your future workforce. Underwriting contributions are tax deductible and a critical part of our operating budget for this program and other projects.
Real World Practicalities
Through Academic Innovations industries have an opportunity to speak directly to future employment prospects. Guest from industry leaders to corporate communications, public relations, and human resources all add to the conversion, offering insight and real world practicalities. It’s extremely important that companies have an opportunity to manage expectations while highlighting the benefits of pursuing a particular field. We also encourage students to consider their personal acumen and temperament as an integral part of any career pursuit.
There has been a lack of participation by industry in determining the development and subsequent quality of the labor pool. Businesses have assumed that each year there would be a fresh batch of qualified prospects to choose from. Companies are losing more and more skilled employees through attrition (primarily boomers leaving the workforce).
Although most industries have observed that the numbers of qualified candidates are declining, many have never considered involvement at the developmental level. Business and industry need to begin to consider the necessity of long term succession planning to ensure operation critical positions remain staffed.
In the past employers may have viewed soft skills as a social norm. There seemed no need to stipulate the necessity for civility, cooperation, respect or teamwork. It was considered a given and as such there was little or no attention placed on employee interactions and soft skill significance. Today with the apparent erosion of general social civility we feel obligated as a vital part of our programs' narrative to reiterate the importance of social skills as a valuable component in maintaining a productive, high-quality work environment and experience.
Soft Skills -Cooperation, Collaboration & Communication
Academic Innovations continually emphasizes the essential necessity of “soft skills”. These are your personal presentation abilities, they determine if peers, prospects or customers will enjoy working with you. With any relationship exchange people perform better when they feel others value their contribution. Workplace colleagues that experience indecorous behavior are likely to become less committed to a team, a project or an organization as a whole. This diminishes the quality of engagement, information sharing and innovation. It also discourages necessary team member interactions which can negatively affect productivity and profit.
Whether part of a STEM curriculum or simply imparting skills for sustainable economic and social development, affable communication skills must be emphasized as an integral part of any educational agenda. We encourage students to expand vocabularies by reading progressively advanced and diverse materials and subject matter, to always take the time to look up words which may not be familiar. Developing communication skills that are amiable and diplomatic while delivering well-considered deductions are an essential success resource in any workplace arsenal.
The broader concept of social civility is that students must be exposed to a variety of differing viewpoints and taught that the necessity to work together is borne of an obligation to larger society.
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