A Model for Transforming Technical Education

An automotive manufacturing technical program that joined governors, industry and community colleges to develop comprehensive education training could serve as a scalable model for other sectors to answer the high-demand for technical workers in the global economy.

The Automotive Manufacturing Technical Education Collaborative (AMTEC) program demonstrates how governors, industry and community colleges can work together to transform America’s workforce with better technical skills, according to a recent National Governors Association Center for Best Practices report. Through this model AMTEC has brought together automotive manufacturers and community colleges to identify and implement potential improvements within technical education, noted in the report, A Sharper Focus on Technical Workers: How to Educate and Train for the Global Economy.

AMTEC is a collaboration of community colleges and industry partners working to align automotive manufacturing programs to the growing needs within the automotive manufacturing technology field.

Some of the major lessons within this case study include:

  • The U.S. must value and invest in technical education and manufacturing companies, as other nations do.
  • Technical education must reflect the requirements of the knowledge economy.
  • Curricula must be developed with industries to ensure that the skills being taught are what industry needs.
  • Programs must be rigorous to ensure that students are prepared to take what they have learned and implement that easily into the workplace.

An example within this report highlights the collaboration efforts between Toyota, located in Kentucky, and the Kentucky Community & Technical College System. Toyota partnered with the Kentucky Community College system because other schools were not providing the training Toyota was looking for. They challenged the school system to create a rigorous curriculum that would reflect the needs of their company, and the needs of the economy, so that students were better prepared for the workplace.

AMTEC’s model can transferred to other sectors of technical education because it focuses on meeting the needs of industry, employers and students by creating a standard for technical education, within each specific sector, where student performance can be assessed.

As the United States continues to advance with our global economy it is imperative that we recognize the importance of producing skilled workers. These kinds of partnerships are vital to the success of CTE, and America’s future workforce, as they demonstrate the value of CTE and how these programs will ensure the United States a place in this competitive global economy.

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