An International Connection
An International Connection
CV-TEC Program Partners with German University
BY MEGAN MANSON
CVES Publications Specialist
Students in the New Visions: Applied Engineering program at CV-TEC Plattsburgh and Mineville campuses will be part of a new pilot program called Authentic STEM with students and educators at the University of Seigen in Germany. This new partnership with the University of Seigen will allow CV-TEC high school seniors in the New Visions program to work together to solve manufacturing problems for local and international manufacturing companies, such as Schulter Systems, which has plants located in Plattsburgh and in parts of Germany.
The goal of the Authentic STEM Program is:
• Long-term establishment of career-oriented and career-developing content aligned to the school curriculum.
• Insight into problem and process-oriented ways of the internal working of companies.
• Authentic content link between companies and potential schools for attracting apprentices.
• Better alignment of school education and career & technical training / employment.
• International cooperation to create a variety of contents, give insight into transnational problems and expand the repertoire of problem-solving approaches.
“We want to combine high school education programs in Germany and the United States and programs at CV-TEC to really look at crossroads between [career & technical education] training, higher education and enjoyment,” said Dr. Gero Stoffels, researcher and lecturer at the University of Seigen. “We want to do it by developing and implementing an integrated career orientation program.”
In addition to the project’s educational objectives for its high school and college students, local leaders at the North Country Workforce Development Board and businesses want to nurture a talented, skilled workforce right in the communities of upstate New York.
“This project really allows us to look at the long-term planning of economic development and the long-term planning of ‘train and sustain’,” said Michele Friedman, Director of Career & Technical Education at Champlain Valley Educational Services.
“[The] business of career and technical education is to plant the seed – the necessary skills coupled with the passion and desire and will to learn. But our job is not just to prepare students for the vacancies that they see online right now. Our job is to prepare them for vacancies that we don’t even know what they look like yet.”
Part of this effort is to also educate the community about what goes on inside of the non-descript buildings they see in the local industry park owned by The Development Corp (TDC). Students will also learn how to navigate their future career and technical education so they can be prepared to seamlessly transition to a post-secondary engineering or related program and then return to the North Country where their talent is needed.
Sylvie Nelson, Executive Director of the North Country Workforce Development Board, is pleased that the partnership will have a potentially lasting impact on industry in the region.
“It’s important as you are probably hearing out there that industry is looking for people, they are looking for employees and a skilled workforce, and this is a way to bring a skilled workforce back to our communities. And we do it through the passion that is already there,” Nelson said.
As the partnership between CV-TEC and the University of Seigen gets underway, the NCWDB hopes that a toolkit can be developed so that the model can be reciprocated and expanded among other educational programs such as Upward Bound at SUNY Plattsburgh and additional New Vision students at CV-TEC and neighboring BOCES under the workforce development umbrella.
Ultimately, all parties hope to foster a skilled and educated workforce that will serve the local industries and the future of their communities.
“At the end of the day, the talent that we see here and the talent that we haven’t seen yet – we have a moral obligation to train that talent and sustain our beautiful North Country,” Friedman said.