Infusion of Technology Education
In June 2013, 8,200 workers were added to SC payrolls in transportation, utilities, and manufacturing businesses. Month after month, highly skilled, technically knowledgeable workers are in great demand. Through good economic times and bad, manufacturing and other SC industries have known which door to knock on for the technicians they need. What isn’t as well known is the critical role that the National Science Foundation (NSF) has played in meeting this demand and supporting economic growth in SC.
In each of the 20 years since the Advanced Technological Education (ATE) Program was started at NSF, South Carolina has benefited. With a focus on two-year technical and community colleges, NSF ATE-funded projects target the preparation of technicians in the advanced technologies that drive our nation’s economy.
In 1995, the SC ATE Center of Excellence was funded as one of the first National ATE Centers; now, NSF is funding SC ATE as a National Resource Center for Expanding Excellence in Technician Education. In 2011, SC ATE gained an important strategic partner when the NSF funded the Center for Aviation and Automotive Technology Education using Virtual E-Schools (CA2VES) at Clemson. The two NSF ATE Centers share a common vision and work together seamlessly to leverage SC ATE Center know-how and national networks with CA2VES innovative technology and focus on workforce development to increase the ability of SC technical colleges to meet the advanced technology workforce needs of the state’s anchor aviation and automotive businesses, industries and suppliers. NSF ATE funding of Centers and projects in SC infuses technician education programs with cutting edge technology, essential faculty development, and program improvements; and employers know that we are ready for their knock on our door.
– Elaine L. Craft
Director, SC ATE Center of Excellence