Penny Brown from the Association for Manufacturing Technology sat down with Festo Didactic’s Ted Rozier to talk about workforce development, and exciting opportunities for students in automation.
Rozier has been in the industry for 18 years, and now he is turning his focus to workforce development— working with community colleges and universities to educate students about the manufacturing industry. Festo Didactic provides training modules for the manufacturing industry, which are built to industry standards. He hopes that these modules will help to close the skills gap in American manufacturing, and familiarize American students, parents, and educators with the realities of the modern manufacturing workplace.
He discusses how Festo has worked to engage young students with cool, innovative technology and robotics where “creation inspires automation,” for example– a robot that can move like an elephant trunk. Rozier believes that by combining these two worlds— the organic world they are familiar with, and the world of automation they are being introduced to— it grabs the students’ attention and allows their minds to relate the two worlds and makes manufacturing feel less foreign to them.
Rozier hopes that programs and initiatives like Festo’s will address some of the challenges the workplace is currently facing, including the need to emphasize a strong mechatronics foundation within the workforce, thus closing the skills gap. Watch the full interview here to learn more.