Category Archives: Front-Page

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TA3 International Symposium Convenes at Lawson State Community College

(BIRMINGHAM, Alabama/June 9, 2016) – Participants journeyed from vocational and technical colleges in Denmark, Germany, the Basque Country, Northern Ireland, and the Netherlands and from the across the United States to Lawson State June 5-8 for the 27th Trans-Atlantic Technology and Training Alliance (TA3) Symposium. The conference topic was: Reaching the Millennial Workforce: New Ways of Learning, Earning, and Interacting in the Digital Age.

The program featured an outstanding lineup of experts from the U.S. and Europe who shared the perspectives of educators, the private sector, philanthropy and policymakers. “Our agenda included subject matter and experts who provided marketplace intelligence to our constituents – leaders of community and technical colleges and associated groups – to help understand the future contexts in which we are preparing our students and workers,” said Dr. Perry W. Ward, president of Lawson State Community College.”

A focus group comprised of four millennials from the Birmingham area provided their perspectives and interacted with the panel and the audience. Here are some key insights from the millennials:

  • All young people, regardless of ethnicity, socioeconomic circumstances, education or geography want mentors.
  • Millennials want to have control over their path in life and education.
  • Millennials want to be connected – to the mission of a company, digitally, socially and within their communities.

Panelists shared these thoughts and recommendations:

PANEL A: New Ways of Learning

  • Millennials actions are heavily influenced by the economic conditions in which they grew up.
  • More robust career guidance is needed – teach students how to learn and self-actualize, connecting their passion with their values for a more sustainable career path – in order to get “the right person in the right seat.
  • Robotics will either be utilized to take your job or be your coworker.

PANEL B: New Ways of Earning

  • Continuous and blended learning is best suited for Advanced Manufacturing.
  • The number of jobs will decrease, but the level of specialized skills needed will increase.
  • There will be a universal need for hard and soft skills in all occupations.
  • Industry 4.0: Increasing productivity, connectivity and cost savings using data.
  • Great companies come down to people, skills and competencies.
  • Public private partnership is the key to success.

PANEL C: New Ways of Interacting

  • Teach skills in demand through contextualized learning, internships, and apprenticeships. Proficiency in literacy and numeracy are key!
  • Translation of skills is as important as having them in the first place.
  • There has been a shift from ‘lifetime employment’ to ‘lifetime employability.’

PANEL D: New Ways of Innovating

  • Tools for innovation include boot camps for entrepreneurship and Global Accelerator Networks.
  • Keep it Local Pledge – corporations commit to purchasing locally first.
  • Create new learning environments – with challenge-based learning where all teachers must be involved.
  • Staff need to be able to change through continuous professional development.
  • Preparing students will require mentoring on learning technologies and cohorts of team teaching.

Activities were held on the Birmingham and Bessemer campuses, as well as off-campus sites. The three-day event was kicked off with a tour of the Civil Rights District and reception at The Civil Rights Institute, a gospel choir performance, and exceptional food and hospitality. A tour of the Mercedes-Benz U.S. International plant, review of Lawson’s Automotive Program, and The Innovation Depot tour were impressive and well received.

Thank you to our fantastic sponsors who made possible the invaluable opportunities for social networking, establishing connections, and discussing opportunities to collaborate on future projects.

Chancellor’s Office – Alabama Community College System


Festo Didactic


Office of the Mayor – City of Birmingham

Next year’s conference will be hosted by Da Vinci College, Dordrecht, Netherlands.

To see and download pictures from all four days of the TA3 conference, click here!

Download the PowerPoint presentations here!

Dr. Patricia Buckley, Deloitte

Sameer Gadkaree, Joyce Foundation

Gerry Campbell, Chief Executive, Colleges Northern Ireland

Xuan Ma, Pearson Education

David Hooks, Director “Edge of Chaos”

Jose Luis Fernandez, TKNIKA

Marloes de Vries, DaVinci College

Thomas Lichtenberger, President for North America, FESTO Didactic

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TA3 Connections April 2013 Online Now!

Read the new April 2013 edition of TA3 Connections here.

Highlights include:

TA3 2013 symposium and meetings June 16-19 in Copenhagen, Denmark on Workplace Learning and the Dual System.
TA3’s October 2012 meeting report on the Future of Manufacturing, Community Colleges’ Roles in Rebuilding America’s Manufacturing available now at
New TA3 member college profiles – Alfred State SUNY in New York, West Virginia University at Parkersburg, Lone Star College System in Texas, and Minneapolis Community and Technical College.

Other TA3 News includes:

Jim McKenney announces his retirement.
Alfred State College hosts its 2nd annual sustainability conference, “Innovations in Technical Education to Advance Sustainability: Student Leadership” on June 6-8, 2013.
Tampere College training  students on sustainable development in the life cycle of food production.
National Council for Workforce Education (NCWE) hosts Annual Conference in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on October 16-18, 2013.
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) special issue of its monthly review on “Green Jobs.”AMTEC
AMTEC testifies before Congressional subcommittee on skills for the auto industry
Haywood Community College’s grand opening and ribbon cutting at new Professional Arts and Crafts Center


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Community Colleges’ Roles in Rebuilding America’s Manufacturing

This paper summarizes the context, presentations, and discussions from a symposium on “The Future of Manufacturing: Implications for Community Colleges” that was held on Oct 1-2, 2012 in Covington, Kentucky. The event was sponsored by the Trans-Atlantic Technology & Training Alliance, an international alliance of community colleges managed by Regional Technology Strategies and the Danish Agency for Universities and Internationalisation, and co-hosted by TA3 member Gateway Community and Technical College. The final report can be read here: Community Colleges and Manufacturing.

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TA3 Connections December 2012 Volume 15, No. 3

December 2012  Volume 15  No. 3

The latest TA3 Connections has been released and is available as PDF here – TA3 Conn 12’12. It leads off with a feature on the 21st International Symposium of the TA3, “The Future of Manufacturing: Implications for Education and Training.”  The conference was hosted by Gateway Community & Technical College, Kentucky and the Kentucky Community and Technical College System in Covington, Kentucky, on October 1-2, 2012.

TA3 2013 in Copenhagen on June 16-19, 2013 – TEC and EUC-Syd will cohost the 2013 meeting of the Trans-Atlantic Technology and Training Alliance on the theme of Workplace Learning: New Perspectives on the Dual System in a Changing Economy.

Below are some highlights from this issue but the full stories are in the PDF.

Community College Alliance for Sustainability Highlights – Since sustainable food systems is a new area for most community colleges, to make it easier for them to test the waters, the Alliance for Sustainability has produced a new web site providing access to information about community college-level courses in all aspects of the sustainable food systems value chain (

Community College Workshop on sustainable food systems – RTS and CEO, assisted by Potomac State College in West Virginia held a workshop on October 19-20 in Charleston, West Virginia, funded by the Appalachian Regional Commission and targeting Appalachian community colleges.

West Virginia University-Parkersburg begins program in Diversified Agriculture – With 90 percent of West Virginia’s food coming from out of state, the college is trying to develop more food production in state and also supply the college’s culinary arts program.

Two Alliance members receive Green Genome Awards – WVU-Parkersburg and Central Carolina Community College, North Carolina were two of five community colleges to be recognized for strategic leadership in sustainability and green economic and workforce development.

Alliance and CraftNet member Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College is making its mark as one of the nation’s most creative colleges.  It is now the new home of the National Hall of Fame for Mountain Artisans at the Kentucky Appalachian Heritage Museum in Harlan.

Miscellaneous information and events

The American Association of Community College’s 20th Workforce Development Institute 2013 will take place in San Diego, January 31 to February 2 at the Sheraton San Diego and Marina.

New TA3 member Alfred State College in New York has announced its Second Annual Sustainability Conference, Innovations in Technical Education to Advance Sustainability: Student Leadership for June 6-8, 2013.

Research Triangle Institute International (RTI) in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina was awarded a three-year $9.2 million contract to establish the National Center for Innovation in Career and Technical Education.

A revival of American apprenticeships – In November, 2012 the Chronicle of Higher Education featured an article entitled “Apprenticeships make a Comeback in the United States.”  The revival was led by European employers who have long appreciated the value of workplace learning which they call the “dual system,” and a number of states have adopted pieces of it, e.g., Arkansas, Wisconsin, and especially South Carolina, which has a large number of German companies.

Australia’s Green Skills Agreement – The Green Skills Agreement officially endorsed by the Council of Australian Governments, creates national standards for sustainability; provides VET practitioners with the skills needed for effective education and training; reviews and revises all training packages to incorporate sustainability skills; and re-skills workers in the transition to a low-carbon economy.

Why Good People Can’t Get Jobs: The Skills Gap and What Companies Can Do About It – This thoughtful book by Wharton School (University of Pennsylvania) professor Peter Cappelli was published by Wharton Digital Press in 2012 (and summarized earlier in article in Wall Street Journal).  He challenges certain assumptions about the skills gap.

McKinsey & Company released a new report addressing the challenge facing counties around the world of moving from Education to Employment: Designing a System that Works.

Pre-Applications for Short-Term International Policy Fellowships – Interested in examining education or workforce in another country? The German Marshall Fund of the United States grants a limited number of fellowships each year through its Urban and Regional Policy program, which focuses on the policy issues and challenges common to metropolitan regions and cities in the United States and Europe.

Looking Back

Fifteen years ago, same issues, different time:  In 1997, the TA3 hosted an international  symposium called New Paths to New Skills in Washington, DC. Ten years ago, RTS and the TA3 identified and described a set of benchmark practices at rural community colleges that had influenced their local economies.

Member Profile

This issue profiles TEC, Copenhagen, Denmark.

TA3 Information For more information please contact Stuart Rosenfeld at RTS ( or Lars Møller Bentsen at

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TA3 Symposium on the Future of Manufacturing, Covington, KY, Oct 1-3, 2012

Category : Front-Page , Symposiums

The Future of Manufacturing: Implications for Education and Training

Co-Hosted by the TA3, Kentucky Community and Technical College System, and Gateway Community and Technical College, Covington, Kentucky October 1-3, 2012

Manufacturing employment has been in decline in western economies, which generally is attributed to competition fromnewly developed lower cost regions and increasing automation. Most leaders believe, however, that retaining a viable manufacturing base is vitally important to the security and innovative capacity. Revitalizing manufacturing, however, will depend on creative forms of products and production. This symposium addressed the following questions facing community and technical colleges in the U.S. and Europe in providing the skills needed for manufacturing to re-invent itself. Click here for the agenda that includes links to all the presentations. Some background on recent trends in manufacturing is summarized here. We had some terrific speakers featured providing compelling background on:

  • Which types of manufacturing and which types of companies are most likely to continue to be competitive in advanced, high-wage economies?
  • What are the challenges and opportunities associated with automation?
  • What entrepreneurial opportunities will develop and can these produce a large enough employment base to be significant?
  • What types and levels of skills and knowledge will community college graduates need in the future and what will their career paths look like?
  • Why are too few students entering manufacturing career paths to replace a rapidly aging workforce, even with the promise of good wages?

This meeting was made possible by generous support from….

Kentucky Community and Technical College System
Manufacturing Extension Partnership, National Institute of Standards and Technology
Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation
Automotive Manufacturing Technical Education Collaborative
Duke EnergyNorthern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce
Republic Bank
European-American Chamber of Commerce

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TA3 Connections August 2012 Volume 15, No. 2

March 2012  Volume 15  No. 2

The latest TA3 Connections has been released and is available here as a pdf. It leads off with a feature on the 21st International Symposium of the TA3, “The Future of Manufacturing: Implications for Education and Training.”  The conference was hosted by Gateway Community & Technical College, Kentucky and the Kentucky Community and Technical College System in Covington, Kentucky, on October 1-2, 2012.

Below are some highlights from this issue but the full stories are in the pdf.

Member News

The School of Arts, Communication & New Media at Salt Lake Community College has developed the New Mobil Publishing Certificate Program. This brand new, one-year long, cutting-edge certificate program is the first such educational effort within the Utah higher education system.

TA3 member Joe May, Louisiana Community and Technical College System President, addressed the Congressional House Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training. Joe was one of four guest speakers invited before the subcommittee to discuss “Keeping College Within Reach: Exploring State Efforts to Curb Costs.”

Jose Luis Fernandez, TA3 member from Tknika in the Basque Region, has been named to the Board of the World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics, an international network that provides leadership in delivering workforce education for the global economy.

“Read More”

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TA3 Connections March 2012 Volume 15, No. 1

Here is the latest TA3 Connections including information on the upcoming TA3 meeting hosted by Gateway Community & Technical College, Kentucky, October 1-3, 2012 on the Future of Manufacturing: Implications for Education and Training. You can also download a a pdf here.

“Read More”

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Webinar on green building & sustainability in Denmark

For those of you unable to make the February 21 webinar on green building and sustainability in Denmark, beginning with a visit to EUC-Syd, a technical vocational school in Denmark, you can still view and hear the material at this link.

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San Sebastian TA3 Symposium Agenda and Presentations

Category : Front-Page , Symposiums

The May 2-4, 2011 TA3 conference in San Sebastian in the Basque region of Spain was a great success. The time was productive but the photos you’ll find on the front page show that the time was fun as well. We’ve linked the presentations to their respective session below.

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April 2011 TA3 Connections

The latest TA3 Connections provides updates on the May 1-4, 2011 TA3 Symposium in San Sebastian in the Basque Region of Spain and brings you up-to-date on member activities including an interesting outreach program by EUC-Syd with Dung Quat College of Technology (DQC) in Viet Nam. York Technical College in South Carolina, USA is profiled. Along with other innovations, York Tech has created the Hive Business Center (HBC), a work-based learning cooperative that opened in February of 2011. The cooperative offers start-up and small business support with a focus on Internet marketing and web design and development.

Download the issue here.