DOE Creating Partnerships to Provide IT Tools to Workforce

July 7, 2011
'The public-private partnerships we are announcing today will play an important role in educating and training a new generation of U.S. manufacturers,' said Secretary Chu.

Secretary of Energy Steven Chu announced last week that in order to complement the launch of the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership, the DOE will partner with the Manufacturing Institute, an affiliate of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), the Ford Partnership for Advanced Studies, and Macomb Community College.

The DOE's National Training and Education Resource (NTER) will provide students with highly interactive and engaging materials in a variety of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) areas, as well as virtual technician training. Partner organizations will be able to access the federal resources available through the NTER -- an open-source, web-based, interactive learning environment -- and be able to develop new training programs and materials.

"The public-private partnerships we are announcing today will play an important role in educating and training a new generation of U.S. manufacturers," said Secretary Chu.

DOE will provide IT tools and technical support to each of the organizations, which will allow them to upgrade their existing curricula and create new immersive learning environments for students and technicians. Descriptions of the partner organizations are as follows:

The Manufacturing Institute will use NTER as a vehicle to implement the NAM-endorsed Manufacturing Skills Certification System across the nation's network of community colleges and high schools. The MSCS provides students with opportunities to earn manufacturing credentials that are accepted across state lines, are valued by a range of employers, and can improve participants' earning power. MSCS is partnering with educational and workplace measurement and research service organization ACT, the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, the American Welding Society, the National Institute of Metalworking Skills, and the Manufacturing Skills Standards Council to implement the program.

The Ford Partnership for Advanced Studies (Ford PAS) is working with its network of communities to explore opportunities to integrate the DOE's National Training and Education Resource into its programs nationwide. Ford PAS sees enormous potential in NTER to support the use of real-world industry scenarios in high school and college classrooms to engage students, develop their knowledge and skills, and prepare them for further study and promising careers in the energy and related industries.

Macomb Community College's will use NTER to enhance several of its electric vehicle oriented courses.

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