March 2017

NCATC Friends and Colleagues,

The NCATC Board of Directors’ leadership continues to increase and enhances our mission to be “your network of technical expertise” in workforce development and emerging technologies that positively impact our futures. Over the past five years, we have formally and informally partnered with many of the National Networks of Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) now called ManufacturingUSA.  We continue to be actively involved with the workforce efforts of America Makes (3D/AM), LIFT (lightweight metals), DMDII (digital manufacturing & design), NextFlex (flex-electronics), IACMI (composites), AIM (photonics), AFFOA (functional fabrics), and newly formed and awarded RIME-MII (robotics), and REMADE (clean energy).

NCATC also represents all community and technical colleges on the MForesight workforce and education commission led by renowned manufacturing workforce expert, Emily Stover DeRocco.  MForesight was established to inform and promote regular and sustained communication and research coordination across the public and private sectors for ideas about how to facilitate the creation of quality manufacturing jobs.  To that end NCATC is responsible for collecting, sharing, promoting, and increasing the promising practices that our community and technical college members are involved with for advanced manufacturing workforce education and development with industry.  The very best promising practices or the next big thing are known as “Gamechangers” and are being shared with federal decision makers to identify actionable solutions to boost innovation, enhance workforce training, and strengthen U.S. manufacturing competitiveness.  NCATC will once again be reaching out to our members to share their “Gamechanger” success stories in 2017.  Please look for the invite in Q2-17.

And, the Maker MovementDemocratizing Manufacturing focused on inventors, programmers, designers, and tinkerers around the country — has already impacted how new products are designed and built, and how regions approach economic development with STEaM – adding the Arts to STEM.  We will continue to encourage, promote, and share success stories of STEaM initiatives from Strategic Partners like US FabLab Network, NIST/MEP, MForesight, and many others in 2017.

As many of you may know, NCATC has been an Affiliated Council of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) and active member of their Economic and Workforce Development Commission for nearly three decades.  We hope you visit us and attend our session at AACC 2017 in NOLA – April 22-25, 2017.

Finally, the NCATC Board of Directors and Staff look forward to seeing all of you at the 2017 NCATC National Events.  Building on our partnership with the Fabricators & Manufacturing Association (FMA) we have re-designed our Summer Workshop and will be targeting more faculty / instructors as well as workforce administrators as we are hosted by Madison Area Technical College (WI) – June 5-7, 2017.  And, we return to a full 2-day, NCATC-focused Fall Conference this year – hosted by Portland Community College (OR) – October 19-20, 2017.  Mark your calendars now!

We encourage you to stay regularly connected, via the NCATC website, social media, and quarterly e-newsletters like this one.

J. Craig McAtee, NCATC Executive Director