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Engineering Education Builds North Dakota's Workforce - Grand Forks Herald

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Due to ongoing worker shortages, many employers in the manufacturing and automation industries are finding it difficult to find a workforce with the necessary qualifications and training – workers with the skills to operate, maintain and repair the machines that keep the industry going. are left without

This shortage will continue to create a productivity and profit gap. But the state capital’s new polytechnic education model could be a solution to the challenges facing the industry.

On November 15, 2021, North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum signed Senate Bill 2345 to advance BSC’s mission as a polytechnic college and authorize the state’s federal government to develop a more fit workforce for the state. The Rescue Plan awarded $38 million to Bismarck State College from coronavirus aid.

BSC President Doug Jensen said: “North Dakota has tremendous natural assets that support the state’s economic growth. Polytechnic’s decision to invest in its mission is fully aligned with the state’s economic growth projects.”

BSC works closely with industry leaders to close the gaps in industry needs and ensure students are prepared for their first day of work with the skills they need. BSC Polytechnic Program Outreach Her Director, Alicia Uhde, says the learning experience at a polytechnic institution is purposeful, hands-on, and driven by the needs of the workforce. “As businesses continue to progress, it is important to ensure that the workforce is ready to install, maintain, repair, operate and troubleshoot these new technologies,” she said.

Polytechnic education provides students with more hands-on, applied learning opportunities through real-world experiences such as labs, internships, and collaborative community projects.

“The industry partners we work with at Bismarck State University know the quality and skills of the students who complete their programs,” says Reynold Miller, associate professor at the BSC National Energy Center of Excellence.

Applied learning at a polytechnic institution is intense, highly specialized, yet incredibly rewarding. Students will be prepared to solve complex social, economic and community problems and achieve success in the real world.

“The result is exceptional career readiness, employment and higher wages. Our mission and polytechnic education model is to connect talent with opportunity for a lifetime,” said Uhde.

Many industries are becoming more integrated with computers and sensors that require technicians to remain efficient. Machines may replace some of the tasks previously performed by humans, such as sorting mail parcels and determining product quality, but the reality is that with automation, these tasks can be performed as needed. more people to repair and troubleshoot your machines.

Students studying manufacturing and automation use project-based learning to complete a solid foundation in electronic, electrical, mechanical, control systems, and robotic systems. They will learn how to integrate all these concepts and systems to increase the productivity and efficiency of industrial facilities.

Uhde said skilled technicians are in high demand in an increasingly automated world.

“Manufacturing industry is evolving rapidly and new technologies are being introduced all the time. Hands-on, project-based learning with student participation prepares companies to support and gain a competitive edge in the global market. can be maintained.”

BSC offers 2-year and 4-year degrees in Manufacturing and Automation, offering learners the opportunity to develop their skills in their respective fields. Internships and externships within the program give students meaningful connections with industry employers.

“Education needs to be more responsive to the needs of the workforce and more responsive to signals from the private sector,” Burgum said. “This is more than just a new building. This is the new avenue of higher education in North Dakota.”