Friday, February 24, 2012

U.S. Department of Education visits Carroll County Career and Technology Center

Dr. Dann-Messier talks with students
while they complete online learning modules
During a series of visits to schools throughout the country, a team from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE) visited the Carroll County Career and Technology Center (CCCTC) in Westminster, Maryland on February 9.

Dr. Brenda Dann-Messier, Assistant Secretary for the OVAE, and her team went to see the Manufacturing & Machine Technology (MMT) program, run by Tim Blizzard (Instructor, CCCTC).

The site visit included a panel discussion with industry leaders and educators, a tour of the machine shop, and a luncheon with a panel of students and parents. The visit’s objective was to determine how the CCCTC program was affecting the area’s industries by providing students who were well prepared for the workforce, and how the program was impacting students. In the last year, the CCCTC program received accreditation from the National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS).

The industry panel and representatives for
local and national departments of education
received a tour of the MMT shop conducted
by several students.

The overall response from the industry panel was that Bill Eckles (Principal, CCCTC), Marjorie Lohnes (Supervisor of Career & Technology Education, CCCTC), and Mr. Blizzard understood the demands of industry in their area and invested a great deal to update the machine shop and ensure the program was attractive to both students and parents.

Toni Neary, Educational Specialist with Tooling U’s Government & Education Group, was invited to attend the meeting and said, "It is always great to get out in the field and meet the students using our program. We heard stories of how Career & Technical Education (CTE) programs and instructors have truly changed the lives of students, building confidence and imparting lifelong skills. To know we are a piece of that puzzle is really powerful."

Mr. Blizzard at CCCTC has been using Tooling U as part of a blended learning delivery for 4 years and has trained more than 60 students in that time.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Tooling U Announces 12 Award-Winning Programs in Education

Tooling U partners with schools across the country to impact training for the next generation of skilled manufacturers. Tooling U’s Platinum Education Centers (TUPECs) are programs that exemplify dedication and resources to training in the manufacturing community. The programs were selected based on: adoption of Tooling U’s online training program, strong utilization rates of online training in a blended-learning format, and ongoing successful referrals in the education community.

The 12 programs that are now recognized as TUPECs are:

Tooling U created TUPEC status to recognize the strong partnerships established with its educational customers. According to Tooling U’s Toni Neary, Business Development-Education Specialist, “[Our education customers] definitely are true partners. We are very fortunate to work with these programs because they are producing the next generation of skilled manufacturers.”

The partnerships between Tooling U and its customers depend on a blended-learning solution, which combines online training with hands-on instruction and lab work. Adds Neary, “Ultimately, technical training needs the combination of knowledge and skills. Partnered with our TUPECs, Tooling U delivers a portion of the knowledge online while the state-of-the-art labs and classrooms deliver the needed skills through hands-on learning.”

Tooling U anticipates that the 12 winners of the TUPEC award will be followed by additions each quarter, depending on how many new schools meet the criteria.