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Manufacturing Is Changing Dramatically. Who’s Ready to Work?

Photonics.com
Jan 2018
In a new book — The New Collar Workforce — an innovative leader prepares manufacturing managers, educators, students and career changers for transformations in the factory.

PITTSFIELD, Mass., Jan. 25, 2018 — U.S. manufacturing companies are expected to face a shortage of two million skilled workers by the year 2020. As a result, manufacturers and educators are looking for real, actionable ideas to train workers, reduce the shortfall and realize the potential of the new age of manufacturing.

The “new collar” workers that manufacturers seek have the digital skills needed to “run automation and software, design in CAD, program sensors, maintain robots, repair 3D printers, and collect and analyze data,” according to Sarah Boisvert, author of The New Collar Workforce, being released this month from Photonics Media Press. Boisvert has more than 30 years of experience in the design, development and commercialization of high-technology products utilizing digital fabrication methods including laser machining and 3D printing, including as co-founder of the commercial division of Potomac Photonics Inc., now located in Baltimore.

At the core of this timely and easy-to-read book are Boisvert’s undeniable passion for the subject — it is one she has lived and breathed — and the results of her survey through Fab Lab Hub of the worker needs that 200 participating U.S. manufacturers are facing. The survey was supported in part by a contribution from the Verizon Foundation.

The New Collar Workforce by Sarah Boisvert, cover art.The New Collar Workforce leads the reader to innovative programs that are recreating training for the new age in manufacturing. Ms. Boisvert founded Fab Lab Hub — part of the MIT-based Fab Lab Network — in order to foster entrepreneurship and workforce training in digital fabrication manufacturing skills. She believes educational systems must evolve to supply Industry 4.0 with new collar workers.

“Manufacturing is changing at an accelerating pace,” says SME executive director and CEO Jeff Krause in the book. “Companies that want to stay ahead of the game must invest in training the people who operate the machines and control the processes.”

The author’s call to action is clear: “We live in a time of extraordinary opportunity to look to the future and fundamentally change manufacturing jobs but also to show people the value in new collar jobs and to create nontraditional pathways to engaging, fulfilling careers in the digital factory. If industry is to invigorate and revitalize manufacturing, it must start with the new collar workers who essentially make digital fabrication for Industry 4.0 possible.”

The New Collar Workforce should be read by anyone who hires, trains or manages a manufacturing workforce; educates or parents students who are searching for a career path; or is exploring a career change.

The New Collar Workforce is available for order now from Photonics Media Press at www.photonics.com/store. students who are searching for a career path; or is exploring a career change.

About the author
Sarah Boisvert, author, The New Collar Workforce.Sarah Boisvert has more than 30 years of experience in the design, development and commercialization of high-technology products utilizing digital fabrication methods including laser machining and 3D printing. Her graduate work in market segmentation at Johns Hopkins University led to her expertise in productization of high-tech devices. Boisvert is a co-founder of the commercial division of Potomac Photonics Inc. of Lanham, Md., which she joined to commercialize a proprietary RF-discharge excimer laser. Following the sale of the company in 1999, Ms. Boisvert founded Fab Lab Hub, part of the MIT-based Fab Lab Network, in order to foster entrepreneurship and workforce training in digital fabrication manufacturing skills. She returned to Potomac part time as chief 3D printing officer in February 2014. Ms. Boisvert is a fellow and past president of the Laser Institute of America and has served on The Optical Society’s Industry Advisory Board as well as on the boards of numerous international technical societies. For fun, she creates 3D-printed jewelry. students who are searching for a career path; or is exploring a career change.

About Photonics Media Press
As the leading publisher in the optics and photonics industry for more than 60 years, Laurin Publishing/Photonics Media is known for producing the periodicals, books and reference materials that industry professionals read and refer to throughout their careers. Now, through Photonics Media Press, we are building an exciting book and reference collection for the next generation of industry experts. Photonics Media Press serves an audience of scientists, engineers, marketers and others in the global photonics industry and its growing application areas.

GLOSSARY
machine vision
Interpretation of an image of an object or scene through the use of optical noncontact sensing mechanisms for the purpose of obtaining information and/or controlling machines or processes.
BusinesseducationAmericasindustrialmachine visionIndustry 4.0smart factorynew collar workerSarah BoisvertFab Lab Hubmaker movement3d printingmanufacturingautomationworkforcelaser additive manufacturinglean manufacturingeconomic development

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