(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:
Panelists shared these thoughts and recommendations:
PANEL A: New Ways of Learning
PANEL B: New Ways of Earning
PANEL C: New Ways of Interacting
PANEL D: New Ways of Innovating
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
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! https://www.flickr.com/photos/143127901@N05/albums
Download the PowerPoint presentations here!
Delegates from the Trans-Atlantic Technology and Training Alliance (TA3) met together in Belfast, United Kingdom for the network’s annual symposium and explored how to prepare for the future global economy through employer and educator partnerships. Hosted by the Northern Ireland Department for Employment and Learning, delegates and speakers were treated to a fantastic mix of robust learning and cultural exchange, sightseeing opportunities and historical experiences.
An open bus tour of Belfast kicked off the four-day event, followed by a networking reception at Crumlin Road Gaol. The conference featured keynote speakers from the U.S. and Europe, representing a wide variety of government, policy and educational institutions. Afternoon workshops provided further interaction and discussion among group members on the following topics:
• Competencies and Credentials,
• Making Apprenticeships work at SMEs,
• Matching Labor Demand and Supply, and
• Successful Models of College-Business Partnerships.
When the day ended, delegates and speakers were treated to local music and dinner at Stormont, the parliament building in Belfast. Minister of Employment and Learning, Stephan Farry hosted the event and concluded the evening with an informative and entertaining tour of the building, including the assembly and senate chambers
At the annual business meeting the next day, delegates discussed potential international collaboration on project work, exchanged ideas about current and emerging issues for educational leadership, faculty, and students, and prepared for the 2016 symposium, which will be hosted by Lawson State Community College, in Birmingham, Alabama.
On the third day, delegates participated in campus tours, including Norbrook Laboratories in Newry, which has grown to be one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies specializing in the development of veterinary and animal health medicines. Delegates were able to meet two apprentices during the tour. Apprenticeships was a central theme at this year’s event and cited as a key component of building the future global workforce.
The TA3 is a membership consortium of more than 30 leading community and technical colleges, and several state system offices, in the U.S. and Europe. The TA3 promotes community colleges’ efforts to support their regional economies, and promotes the value and importance of a global perspective on community college missions. The TA3 is managed by co-secretariats, Corporation for a Skilled Workforce in the U.S. and the Danish Agency for Higher Education in Europe.
More photos here! NI Hosts the TA3 Symposium 2015
PowerPoint presentations here!
Member colleges from the Trans-Atlantic Technology and Training Alliance (TA3) convened at One Washington Circle Hotel to hear from a diverse line-up of national experts representing five federal agencies, a policy think tank, foundations and a regional commission. The TA3 is a consortium of leading community and technical colleges in the U.S. and Europe that promotes learning and innovation across borders, supports regional economies, and promotes the value and importance of a global perspective. Speakers offered perspectives on recent and pending legislation, the impact of political changes on workforce initiatives and funding, and successful programs underway around the country. Community college representatives shared experiences and made valuable connections.
Mary Ann Pacelli and Mark Troppe from NIST – MEP kicked off the morning by discussing their state program initiatives for accelerated industry skill development, as well as the paid internship model, part of Right Skills Now. Celeste Carter, NSF – ATE noted the impact a flat budget has had on the ability to fund students in advanced technology fields, while also aiming to increase representation of veterans and minorities in these fields. Several upcoming funding opportunities were shared with members as well.
The U.S. Department of Labor panel featured Gerri Fiala, Laura Ginsberg and Randall Smith who focused on changes to the public workforce system as a result of the Workforce Investment and Innovation Act (WIOA), the benefits of registered apprenticeships and employment initiatives, and supports in place for outreach and services for veterans.
Over lunch, members and speakers were treated to a video conference call with Michael Gould from the Department for Employment and Learning, in Belfast, Northern Ireland, who will host the TA3 June Symposium! After a brief introduction about the country and culture, Michael shared the draft schedule for the four day event that will take place June 7-10, 2015 and will feature keynote speakers from Europe and the United States, and well as workshop sessions in the afternoons. The theme will be “Building on Success – Bringing Business and Educators Closer Together”.
Maureen Conway and John Colborn from the Aspen Institute discussed the role of community colleges in sector strategies and how non-profits can most effectively work with industry.
Jeff Schwartz shared the unique geography and demographics of the Appalachian Region and how the Appalachian Regional Commission works with employers and supports community colleges in the rapidly changing regional economy.
Doug O’Brien and Alex Jones of the U.S. Department of Agriculture outlined the Rural Development initiative, which has a Community and Economic Development Mission and a $200 billion dollar portfolio. The discussion focused on the USDA’s intent to break the cycle of rural poverty by strategically funding and meeting goals set by state directors.
To close the day, Mark Mitsui from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education (OCTAE), encouraged members to watch the State of the Union for forthcoming federal funding opportunities, including the American college promise proposal for free tuition at community colleges.
Members noted that the day gave them an insider look at the emerging policy landscape in the U.S., enabled them to make valuable connections they would not otherwise have access to and provided a forum for peer sharing and learning.