Siemens PLM Software, a global provider of product lifecycle management (PLM) software and services, announces a new community college best practice program to enhance the effort to revitalize manufacturing throughout the United States. The program, developed in conjunction with Iowa Western Community College (IWCC), provides resources to interested community colleges and local manufacturers including a recommended associate’s degree curriculum, and a guide for obtaining in-kind software grants to provide the technology needed for implementation.
It is estimated that within five to 15 years, the retirement of skilled baby boomers will create a workforce shortage of 10 million additional workers by 2020. Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) job growth is projected to rise at twice the rate of the economy by 2018. The shortage of engineers in 2010 totaled 750,000 worldwide. With this in mind, manufacturers are finding it increasingly difficult to fill open positions with individuals who have advanced technology skills.
In February 2011, Siemens PLM Software announced the largest in-kind corporate contribution ever received by IWCC that enabled the college to successfully launch a design technology program. The program prepares graduates to enter the workforce in a high-demand career field or transfer to a four-year institution to complete a bachelor’s degree.
Through the successful IWCC and Siemens PLM Software partnership, the new community college best practice program has been implemented. The program provides a two-year, fast-track curriculum, developed by an advisory board of academia and industry, with an emphasis on upgrading incumbent worker skills as well as training dislocated and minority-categorized workers. The curriculum introduces individuals to product design and development software technology used by many of the world’s leading manufacturing, architectural and construction companies.