J. Craig McAtee, executive director of the National Coalition of Advanced Technology Centers, spent four days in Sioux Falls in September, visiting with local education and business leaders. McAtee is a powerful national spokesperson for connecting education, especially rapidly-adapting technical education, with practical applications in manufacturing, as well as other industries throughout the nation.
“Partnering has become the powerhouse approach to accomplish state-of-the-market workforce education with real-world, highly-valued collaborations to meet the current and future demands for the next generation of manufacturing workers,” McAtee said. “The economic development and workforce education community is the pipeline to manufacturers and must stay ahead of the power curve for emerging technical talent knowledge and education in order to feed that pipeline and be prepared to assist in upskilling the incumbent workforce.”
McAtee met with University Center president Craig Johnson, CTE principal Josh Hall, STI president Bob Griggs, Representative Mark Mickelson, Sioux Falls School District superintendent Brian Maher and board member Cynthia Mickelson, Gage Brothers president Tom Kelly, Lutheran Social Services president Betty Oldenkamp, City of Sioux Falls Community Development director Daren Ketcham, Chamber president Jason Ball, Chellee Unruh, director of the STI Foundation and Emily Widerich from Graco USA, in addition to Sioux Falls Development Foundation staff and board members.
Development Foundation staff also hosted McAtee in tours of the Career & Technical Education Academy, Southeast Technical Institute, New Tech High School, Zeal and University Center.
“After spending a week in Sioux Falls with many of the most talented and passionate leaders of industry, education, economic and workforce development, I developed a very short list of ideas for engagement with local and regional manufacturers,” McAtee said. “True collaboration and partnership between industry and education is imperative if we are to be successful in closing the skills gap in the 21st century.”
There is better training for our workforce in Sioux Falls. A multitude of options are available to meet businesses' needs at the postsecondary level including city programs, state grants, technical training, and a new $50 million scholarship program for technical school students.Read More