NCATC Friends and Colleagues,
Employer Engagement / Strategic Partnerships: The Most Important Element for Industry and Education in the 21st Century
Nearly 35 years ago the National Coalition of Advanced Technology Centers (NCATC) was formed by the Center for Occupational Research and Development (CORD), and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), with the employer engagement of two prominent technology organizations and nine community colleges.
The NCATC bylaws were written with advanced technology education and workforce development from the nation’s community and technical colleges in mind with one permanent Board director seat from CORD.
Fast forward over the three and a half decades to today and NCATC has nearly 170 community and technical college members AND over 45 industry Strategic Partners. Now, that is true employer-engagement!
NCATC’s Board structure and bylaws have changed each decade to keep more current with the needs of our collective membership network – always being anchored in the original mission of providing advanced technical expertise coupled with real-world, industry-led experiential learning for all students in our workforce development focused education members communities.
In 2018 the Board realized another gap / opportunity to strengthen the NCATC leadership structure by adding two industry members / Strategic Partners to the thirteen-member Board of Directors, making it a fifteen-member Board. Once formalized and approved by NCATC members, the Board took nominations from the Strategic Partners and our first two industry directors were elected to the NCATC Board in July 2019.
We agreed that each Strategic Partner director would serve a two-year term that would be designed to be “staggered” so that every year NCATC would only replace one Strategic Partner (SP) director. This logic allows for a consistent overlap and automatic mentoring of the newest SP director from the last SP director from industry. To date it has been very successful and blends very well with the education-based directors – who all serve a four-year term.
To get this pattern started, NCATC needed to ask one on the initial two SP directors to serve a three-year term – one additional year than all other SP directors would serve. That request was met with great enthusiasm and support by Toni Neary, Director of Education for Haas Tower – Morris Group, Inc. She and Greg Surtman, Workforce Strategist for Tooling U-SME were NCATC’s very first SP directors with terms starting on July 01, 2019. While Greg’s two-year term ended in June 2021 – Toni’s three-year term will end this June 30, 2022.
We continue to be very lucky with very dedicated, engaged, and passionate SP directors that are elected to the NCATC Board each year. Last year Greg Jones, VP for Smartforce Development at The Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT) was elected to replace Greg Surtman and this year we welcome newly elected - Tony Oran, VP at Festo Didactic to the Board – who will replace Toni (with an ‘I”) on July 01, 2022.
We will miss Toni on the NCATC Board – as we do all our past directors. And we know that she will stay actively engaged in all key activities and events with the NCATC members and Board moving forward including our 2022 Annual Fall Conference – which the Gene Haas Foundation is a Gold Sponsor.
If you have a moment, drop Toni a quick note and thank her for all that she does for CTE and Workforce Development across the nation with NCATC, NTMA, H-TEC, and many other important advanced manufacturing related communities and students alike. She always set sets the bar as high as she can, and then some.
We look forward to seeing all of you at the 2022 NCATC Annual Fall Conference in Concord / Kannapolis, NC hosted by Rowan-Cabarrus Community College on September 21-23. This marks our return after a full three (3) years due to the pandemic measures of caution and we promise it will be worth the wait! Find all the information and registration links HERE.
And, we will continue our 2022 Strategic Partner and Government Relations Webinar Series focused on DEI, Industry 4.0, Work-Base Learning, and CTE/WDF Policies in partnership with Universal Robots, New Scale Robotics, MSSC/Amatrol, Core Learning Exchange, Festo Didactic/Siemens, and AACC in 2022. Plus, you can find all the past webinar recordings on the NCATC Website here.
NEW – On June 23rdNCATC is holding the Q2 - Quarterly Member Drop-In that will focus on one of the 4 Strategic Focus Areas or Pillars. Our second Member Drop-In will focus on NCATC Pillar 2: Work-Based Learning: Apprenticeships and More for Workforce Development Programs – Best Practices, Needs Discussion with Member. REGISTER HERE.
And as always, we encourage you to stay regularly connected and up to date on all ATC, WFD, and CTE related activities and guidance, via the weekly updated NCATC website, social media (LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.), and quarterly e-newsletters.
J. Craig McAtee, CEO & Executive Director