Engaging academic institutions with industry
The Minnesota State Engineering Center of Excellence (MSECE) is shaping the next generation of engineers. They are focused on advancing Minnesota’s engineering innovation and competitiveness by enhancing education, engaging industry, and inspiring students.
On a day-to-day basis the MSECE facilitates relationships by engaging academic institutions with industry and provide educational outreach by inspiring interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). They foster accessibility to the latest technologies, workforce programs, and post-secondary education.
Established in 2004, the Center is physically located in Mankato, MN, and is comprised of a director, STEM outreach, post-secondary outreach and an administrative assistant. An advisory council, consisting of both industry members and academic partners, help to provide guidance and direction.
(Photo at right: MSECE Director Jason Bruns, right, giving a certificate to a tour host in October 2017. Photo provided)
MSECE Director Jason Bruns is continuing workforce pipeline effort by supporting Advanced Career (AC) for secondary schools’ Career and Technical Education (CTE) options. It consists of four courses that emphasize state standards for both college and career preparation. This program was designed to meet employer needs by emphasizing the key areas: critical thinking, complex problem solving, written and oral communication, and applied knowledge using real-world problem-solving activities.
Pathways include: Aerospace Engineering, Clean Energy Technology, Energy and Power, Global Logistics & Supply Chain Management, Health Informatics, Informatics, Innovations in Science and Technology and Integrated Production Technologies. These pathway programs emphasize industry-focused questions that student teams must address. Students are mentored by industry partners, and complete projects utilizing industry-recognized equipment. Advanced Career prepares students for a career and/or college.
The MSECE works with TCI Solutions, who created the Legacy Iᶟ Model, to provide companies with a low-cost, sustainable method of developing local, diverse talent into viable candidates for employment. The Legacy Iᶟ Model is based on a collaborative approach in which they synchronize and leverage the existing resources from five key sectors: relevant industry/company, local secondary educational institutes, local post-secondary educational institutes, local/national community-based organizations, and federal, state and local government agencies. The Engineering Center of Excellence initiates this collaborative effort with school districts, business partners, associations and the Legacy team.
The Leaning Manufacturing Initiative is a curriculum that teaches industrial Lean, or Continuous Improvement, concepts and tools. The concept of Lean is simply creating more value for customers with fewer resources; it allows a business to work more efficiently with fewer resources, combating the current industry need for already deficient numbers of workforce employees. Lean is truly the only organic means of business growth. The educators who have gone through this curriculum will be able to teach Lean tools, and in conjunction with an industry partner, perform a class Lean event on a production floor. This seeding program has invested into educators associated with the trades industry, MN Department of Corrections, colleges and universities.
Finally, the MN Workforce Partnership is a joint venture with state programs, academia and industry members to share projects and promote cross-functional opportunities. The MSECE coordinates guest speakers to discuss challenging topics that relate to industry and/or academia. Some examples of previous topics are: hiring a felon, hiring a veteran, building Minnesota’s workforce with competency based credits, hiring and retain women in the workforce, and the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).
These are just a few of the projects they have going on. Where can they collaborate with you? For more information, visit their website at: http://engineering.mnsu.edu/
Article collaboration by the Minnesota State Engineering Center of Excellence and Becky Hauschild, MMA Communication Specialist.
Winning Together Honorably
Aagard plant with 2017 addition evident in the roofing.
The Aagard Aspire packaging machine.
The Aagard weekday team in 2018.
The weekend team at Aagard in 2018.