Breadth and Diversity of Transportation Careers Requires Us to Dream Big During Engineers Week 2017

Inspiring the employees of the future to pursue careers in transportation requires not just career awareness but it also requires that we change existing perceptions about the field. Engineers Week February 19-25, offers an excellent opportunity to remind students, parents, and educators, that building and construction projects involve a wide variety of occupations from planners, construction workers, geologists, environmental experts, and hydro-geologists. As we celebrate the engineering feats in the world around us during Engineers Week, we can also consider all the people, technologies, and supply chains that make these possible.

A perfect example of this type of broad-based approach, is the giant screen movie, Dream Big: Engineering Our World, created in partnership with the American Society of Civil Engineers by Bechtel Corporation. More information about this event and where it will be screened in the Midwest can be found on the Dream Big film’s website.

Not only does the Dream Big film explore the broad field of engineering, but the makers have produced educational materials, exhibits, and curricula around the project, making this a game-changing strategy for workforce development professionals and educators.

Each state in the MTWC region celebrates engineering in its own way. You can find activities designed to inspire and educate young people about their career options in the MTWC Clearinghouse searchable database. Information on Engineers Week events can be found on the Discover-e website.

For the Midwest, we’ve compiled a short list of events for each state:

Illinois

With multiple events throughout the week, the Chicago Architecture Foundation Engineering Festival has a number of hands-on activities for kids and families. This year, they will explore Chicago’s iconic movable bridges with free activities for ages 5–12. https://www.architecture.org/experience-caf/programs-events/detail/engineering-fest/

At the Peoria Riverfront Museum, guests are invited to enjoy the Engineering Day Free Day! and other activities including a bridge building contest this weekend, February 18 and 19. https://www.peoriariverfrontmuseum.org/posts/700

In Wheaton, the Illinois Institute of Technology is providing provide hands-on activities for children and students of all ages (primarily in grades K-8) to explore science, technology, engineering and math in the DuPage Area STEM Expo on February 25. Over 50 displays, presentations, and projects will be featured. https://appliedtech.iit.edu/events/2017/feb/25/dupage-area-stem-expo-2017

Indiana

The IEEE Central Indiana Section is teaming up with The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis to offer National Engineers Children’s Day on February 25. The program combines hands-on activities and the ability to interact with engineers of various disciplines. http://www.cis-ieee.org/eweek/

In Michigan City, the Dream Big…and Engineer On event will introduce the fun world of engineering to local youngsters with activities focused on kids aged 2 to 8 on February 23 at the Michigan City Public Library. https://www.facebook.com/events/814122088726555/

Iowa

Iowa State University College of Engineering is celebrating Engineers Week 2017 with events including a scavenger hunt for a golden calculator, E-Lympics, and Technology Night. https://www.facebook.com/isueweek/

In Waterloo, celebrate how engineers make a difference in the world during Museum Madness at the Imaginarium on February 25. https://www.groutmuseumdistrict.org/calendar/museum-madness-national-engineers-week–hawkeye-community-college-through-the-ages-D02252017.aspx

Kansas

A little later this year, for two days in March, the University of Kansas School of Engineering will open its doors for elementary and middle school students to explore the world of engineering during the KU Engineering EXPO. https://engr.ku.edu/esc/expo

Michigan

Michigan Tech is hosting Engineering Exploration Day for Middle and High School Girls on February 25. https://events.mtu.edu/event/engineering_exploration_day_for_middle_and_high_school_girls#.WKSiUjsrKbg

Minnesota

The Engineering Career Information Night for middle and high school students in Savage will be hosted by the Prior Lake High School Robotics Team KING TeC, in collaboration with the Prior Lake High School Guidance Office and Mankato State University. During this event, a panel of engineers will provide insights to a career in engineering and answer questions from the audience on February 23, in the Prior Lake High School auditorium. https://kingtec2169.com/engineering-career-information-night/

Crack open old electronics, use candy to learn about biomedical technology, explore squishy, slimy, and cold substances, and more. It’s all part of the fun at The Works Museum’s annual Tech Fest event on February 25. With dozens of hands-on activities and demos this event lets families learn more about what engineering is and see how it’s everywhere around us. https://theworks.org/tech-fest/

Celebrate Engineers Week by making a puppet in the Engineering Elastic Puppets event. At this event at the St. Anthony Library on February 25, you will learn about elasticity, and then create and decorate your very own puppet out of string and straws. https://hclib.bibliocommons.com/events/581b66e45d375c0100ecdd9a

Missouri

Spark your curiosity at the annual series of weekend expos in SciFest 2017 at the Saint Louis Science Center. Meet local scientists, engineers and other experts for a behind-the-scenes look at real science. http://www.slsc.org/SciFest#sthash.17pvpWXl.dpuf

Washington University in St. Louis School of Engineering & Applied Science is celebrating Engineers Week 2017 with multiple events throughout the week. https://engineering.wustl.edu/current-students/Pages/Engineers-Week.aspx

The Missouri Society of Professional Engineers Ozarks Chapter is hosting Discover Engineering Day at The Plaster Center for Free Enterprise and Business Development in Downtown Springfield on February 18. http://www.osteam.org/calendar/2017/2/18/discover-engineering-day

Ohio

The Central Ohio STEM Expo is a free educational outreach event for students grades K-8 that will feature fun, interactive activities and exhibits in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Participants will have the opportunity to get reduced price admission to explore the rest of the COSI facility that day as well as to watch Dream Big: Engineering Our Worldhttp://centralohioasce.org/2017_STEM_Expo

Wisconsin

STEM Forward’s 64th Annual Engineers Week Banquet & Awards Ceremony is a celebration of excellence in STEM as the Engineer of the Year, Young Engineer of the Year, and Spirit of STEM Awards are presented. http://www.stemforward.org/engineers-week-banquet-1/

In April, the University of Wisconsin will host its annual Engineering EXPO 2017. Registration is now open for this two-day, student run event, which typically attracts 10,000 visitors to the university campus. Cash awards are given out to exhibitors comprised of undergraduate students, graduate students, and student organizations. Registration for exhibitors is open now! http://engineeringexpo.wisc.edu/

Find the Summer Programs You Are Looking For

Type the word, “summer” into the Midwest Transportation Workforce Center Clearinghouse search feature and 84 different resources will be displayed. These include a variety of summer programs for age groups ranging from elementary school through high school. Additionally, you’ll find summer internship opportunities for students entering the workforce or exploring their career options. Now is the time of year to make your summer plans, and the MTWC Clearinghouse is your first stop for finding transportation career resources in the Midwest, and beyond.

Continuously growing, the newly launched search feature was added to the MTWC website in January with over 1300 resources for developing transportation talent in the Midwest. The database has a particularly rich offering for educators and parents looking for career awareness opportunities for their students.

Among summer programs in the database, you will find over a dozen opportunities explicitly catering to girls and women and 40 resources focused on engineering occupations.

The curated database makes it easy to find the right resources with its detailed information on each listing. Search results can be filtered by the state where the program is offered, by age group, or half a dozen other categories.

The MTWC website is a clearinghouse for all things related to the transportation talent pipeline in the Midwest. With MTWC, you can connect with your peers, share best practices, read about others’ successes, and help define and develop the Midwest strategy for transportation talent development.

Make Sure Your Summer Program is Found

You can ensure that your summer internship, workshop, or camp is found in the one-stop clearinghouse for transportation career and talent development resources in the Midwest in one simple step of submitting your resource to the Midwest Transportation Workforce Center.

Already a central hub for sharing and learning about successful strategies and programs for developing transportation talent, the Clearinghouse was expanded in January to include a searchable database. Here, parents, educators, and prospective employees will seek a variety of resources for the summer of 2017.

The MTWC website is a clearinghouse for all things related to the transportation talent pipeline in the Midwest. With MTWC, you can connect with your peers, share best practices, read about others’ successes, and help define and develop the Midwest strategy for transportation talent development.

Submit Your Resources

To get your resource listed, complete the MTWC Clearinghouse submission form. Or, send information by email to Maria Hart at maria.hart@wisc.edu.

Clearinghouse Puts Transportation Resources at Your Fingertips

The Midwest Transportation Workforce Center (MTWC) recently launched its new, searchable database of transportation workforce resources. With over 1300 entries, the search feature is accessed by clicking on “Clearinghouse” in the top menu of the MTWC website. Here, you will find listings of a variety of resources including pre-apprenticeship programs, internships, educational opportunities, professional development opportunities, scholarships, summer programs, and workforce development initiatives across the nine-state MTWC region, and beyond.

While the website, with its varied content devoted to growing the transportation pipeline, is a first stop for people seeking transportation workforce information, the indexing of resources in this new database will help users find what they are looking for more readily.

The Clearinghouse is a resource for educators looking for transportation curricula or programs, industry or workforce professionals looking for successful practices, or parents who are looking for summer programs for their budding transportation professional. So, if you are looking for Supply Chain programs in the region, or K-12 programs that target girls, we can help.

“Our vision for a Clearinghouse is that it will help us capture and define the collective work we are doing in this region. These transportation resources span the continuum from K-12 career awareness through professional development across all transportation occupations. With this database, we can determine where the gaps are and where we need to improve career pathways.  As our communities prepare for the future of the transportation workforce, this kind of information will form a fundamental baseline for these planning discussions. We will be ready,” said Maria Hart, MTWC Program Manager.

The MTWC website is a one-stop for all things related to the transportation talent pipeline in the Midwest. With MTWC, you can connect with your peers, share best practices, read about others’ successes, and help define and develop the Midwest strategy for transportation talent development.

Please click here to explore the most comprehensive compilation of the region’s transportation workforce development initiatives, programs, and resources.

Make Sure Your Resources Are Listed

The MTWC Clearinghouse is always growing and improving. This launch is only the beginning. Help us build this network. To get your resource listed, please complete the MTWC Clearinghouse submission form. Or, send information along with a website link by email to Maria Hart at maria.hart@wisc.edu.

Getting the Most from the MTWC Clearinghouse

The Midwest Transportation Workforce Center Clearinghouse has over 1,300 resources in its searchable database including internships, educational opportunities, summer programs, and workforce organizations.

Based on the keywords or phrases that you enter, the search engine is designed to locate the widest range of results from the database. These can then be narrowed down by clicking within the navigation menu that is generated on the left-hand side of the window.

Search Tips & Tricks

Using the Faceted Navigation Menu

search_navigation

After you type a search word or phrase into the search field, boxes are displayed on the left side of the screen to help locate more specific results.

After you type a search word or phrase into the search field, a series of boxes on the left side of the screen is displayed. Each box shows a category of results that contain resources related to your search word or words. For each, the number of resources in the results related to that category with the search terms is shown in parentheses after the category label.

For example, if you search for “degree,” several results are generated. On the left side of the screen, boxes are displayed for various categories such as the states in which degrees are available and organizations that offer degrees. Clicking on one of these, such as “Missouri (25)” will then display just those results that are available in the state of Missouri.

Use Multiple Words to Find the Most Results

Searching for multiple words will give you more results. Results will include entries with ANY of the words you type.

Use Longer or Specific Words to Narrow the Results

Short words result in more results than longer words. For example, to find all of the resources related to transportation by rail, type “rail” into the search field. This will return all of the resources related to rail as well as railroads. You might have more results to scroll through than you want. To narrow your results, you can type a space after “rail” or use the full word “railroad.”

Make Sure Your Resources Are Listed

The Clearinghouse is always growing and improving. To get your resource listed, please complete the MTWC Clearinghouse Submission Form or send your resource information by email to maria.hart@wisc.edu.

Transcripts of Apprenticeship Webinar and Call Available

The transcript of the MTWC webinar, “Why all the momentum for Registered Apprenticeships? What are they?” held December 8th is now available for download on the MTWC website. Here, you can also view the recording of the webinar as well as download the presentation slides and other helpful resource materials.

After the webinar, a follow-up call was scheduled to allow more time to ask questions of the panel of experts about registered apprenticeship programs. The transcript of this call is also available on the website.

Illinois Workforce Innovation Board Developing Trucking Industry Best Practices

The Illinois Workforce Innovation Board reconvened its Transportation, Distribution and Logistics (TDL) Task Force in the interest of addressing the widespread truck driver shortage and retention problem. The Task Force, which began meetings in October 2016, is developing and will recommend data-driven strategies derived from best practices in training and industry to address root causes of the shortage.

The Illinois TDL Task Force welcomes any ideas or practices that you wish to share from your state. Please email Maria Hart, MTWC Program Manager and TDL Task Force Member, at maria.hart@wisc.edu by February 15, 2017.

Logistics Internship Program Converts Students into Employees

Going into its third year, the Conexus Intern Program has grown from 30 companies employing 84 students in 2015 to more than 80 companies and more than 260 students expected in the summer of 2017. Conexus Indiana is a non-profit consortium of the state’s advanced manufacturers and logistics (AML) industries.

National Apprenticeship Week Events in the Midwest

November 14-20, 2016 is National Apprenticeship Week.

All across the country, organizations are hosting events to spread the news about apprenticeships as a way to attract talent and retain valuable employees.

NAW offers Registered Apprenticeship sponsors the opportunity to showcase their programs, facilities, and apprentices, and gives Employers, Education, Industry Associations, Labor, Elected officials and other critical partners the opportunity to highlight how Registered Apprenticeship meets their needs for a skilled workforce. 

In the Midwest, many unions are hosting open houses and tours of their facilities to share information on construction apprenticeships.  Some sites include the Operating Engineers Local 513 Training Facility in Silex, Missouri, the Wisconsin Operating Engineers Training Facility in Coloma, Wisconsin, and the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150 in Wilmington, Illinois.

In Kansas, the Wichita Workforce Center will host a Corporate Leader lunch to talk about Registered Apprenticeship and veterans. Other workforce centers hosting events include the St. Louis Agency on Training and Employment (SLATE).

Mott Community College in Flint Michigan is hosting a number of events during the month of November including a celebration of registered apprenticeship, and a breakfast for employers.  Other community colleges such as Hawkeye Community College in Waterloo, Iowa, are offering informational sessions, and Ivy Tech Community College is hosting Job Fairs both in Fort Wayne and South Bend, Indiana.

Nationally, TMC Transportation will be releasing a video on truck driving and apprenticeships.

To see all the events 640 and counting, by industry sector  or target group please visit the Department of Labor webiste.

Community College Sponsored Apprenticeships Fill the Talent Pipeline without all the Paperwork

In January, students will be sitting down for their first class of Supply Chain Management 101, part of the curriculum of the newly launched Logistics/Supply Chain Management Registered Apprenticeship program at Harper College in Palatine, Illinois. The next day, the students will go to work where they will start applying their classroom-acquired knowledge to the real-world applications provided by the companies that employ them.

In the spring of 2019, these students will graduate with an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree in Manufacturing Technology with a specialization in Supply Chain Management – Logistics. Additionally, they will have acquired up to seven industry recognized credentials earned through the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) and a Department of Labor (DoL) certification that they are fully qualified for their occupation. At the same time, the companies, having paid the students’ wages and tuition throughout this process, will gain highly qualified employees ready to hit the ground running with a specialized understanding of how the principals are applied at their organization. Read more