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Sierra College CACT Connects Manufacturers to Students

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To help businesses connect with their future workforce and encourage students to consider highly-paid in-demand careers in Advanced Manufacturing, the Sierra College Center for Applied Competitive Technologies (CACT) is seeking participants for National Manufacturing Day on October 2, Mini Maker Fair at Sierra College on October 3 and Nontraditional Employment for Women (NEW) event on Nov. 6. In addition to these events, Carol Pepper-Kittredge, CACT Director, Sierra College is also is working with industry partners, such as SME Sacramento Valley, to bring real world experiences into college and high school classrooms.

“Manufacturers can greatly impact a student’s enthusiasm for career in engineering, mechatronics or welding,” said Pepper-Kittredge. “Whether an employer encourages staff to take the time to talk to students touring their operations, provide feedback on design concepts via video conference, speak to a class or mentor a student completing a senior project, it can greatly influence the students’ plans to pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).”

Rocklin High School Engineering is currently seeking manufacturers to provide engineering, design and manufacturing experiences for senior students, according to Dan Frank, engineering instructor, Rocklin High School and member of the Sierra College STEM Collaborative.

“The Rocklin High School Engineering program focus on CAD, CAM and manufacturing processes,” said Frank.  “Students have the opportunity to get certified in SolidWorks®, program in Mastercam® and operate our Haas® supported machine shop. We are looking for industry partners to share simple engineering projects, offer tours, provide mentorship and/or supply materials to give students real world problem solving experiences.”

With SME Sacramento Valley, Sierra College CACT is helping instructors arrange tours with employers in the Sacramento region during the month of October in celebration of National Manufacturing Day. “The tours and open houses give students a better idea what manufacturing jobs look like today,” said Pepper-Kittredge. “These are very clean manufacturing environments, using automation for heavy tasks, continually researching new product designs and utilizing lean process improvement practices to increase efficiency.”

Sierra College is hosting the City of Rocklin Mini Maker Fair on October 3. Businesses and individuals can host booths with hands-on, interactive exhibits where people can learn how to make or do something, play with concepts and manipulate things. Applications are due Sept. 4.

To encourage high school girls to consider technical careers, Sierra College is planning the third Nontraditional Employment for Women (NEW) on November 6. The event includes presentation from women in technology, followed by hands-on activities with college faculty in Welding, Entrepreneurship, Mechatronics, Engineering, Automotive, Construction & Energy Technology, Applied Art & Design, and Drafting & Engineering Support. At lunch, industry mentors will rotate tables sharing their stories and answering girls’ questions. Employers can sponsor t-shirts, lunch, materials and the event and volunteer to serve as mentors.

Sierra College recent brought Hacker Lab to Rocklin and employers are invited to become involved in this entrepreneurial maker community, according to Pepper-Kittredge. “With 3D printers, laser cutter and other maker tools, businesses are making prototypes, entrepreneurs are building their businesses and community members are gaining new skills,” said Pepper-Kittredge. “Businesses can suggest meet-ups and offer to teach classes. Hacker Lab powered by Sierra College is also a great place for business owners and students to connect and arrange internships.”

Businesses interested in these upcoming events and connecting with educators to promote advanced manufacturing and technical careers can contact Carol Pepper-Kittredge at (916) 660-7801 or cpepper-kittredge(at)sierracollege.edu.

About Sierra College CACT

The Sierra College Center for Applied Competitive Technologies (CACT) is focused on Advanced Manufacturing training and development, and is funded through the Workforce and Economic Development program of the California Community College Chancellor’s Office. Since 1992, the Sierra College CACT has provided customized training for organizations, manufacturers and technology companies throughout Northern California. Additional information is available at www.sierracollegetraining.com or contact Carol Pepper-Kittredge at 916-660-7801 or cpepper-kittredge (at)sierracollege(dot)edu.

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