The manufacturing industry is already facing a skilled labor shortage, and the onset of the COVID-19 crisis has presented an additional challenge for educational institutions, temporarily closing schools across the nation and interrupting face-to-face learning.
To help meet the mission critical challenge of building the industry’s future workforce, the newly formed CTE Coalition, led by Lincoln Electric, Tooling U-SME, NC3, camInstructor, Haas Automation and SkillsUSA, quickly mobilized to create the website Keep CTE Moving, a central portal where instructors and students can go to access much needed resources including hundreds of online classes, videos and instructional materials in areas such as machining, welding, mechatronics, industry 4.0 and programming. All online materials are produced and supplied by the coalition partners with the majority being available at no charge for the next 30 days. The goal is to help career and technical education faculty and students continue their teaching and learning in a new virtual environment as quickly as possible.
“A lot of CTE courses are in areas like welding, CNC, automotive, manufacturing and construction, and are very hands-on,” said Jason Scales, business manager, education, Lincoln Electric. “Many instructors simply don’t have online training content. This non-competitive group of industry-leading companies each maintain a robust set of e-learning modules and other resources. Together, we agreed to share our resources in an unprecedented manner. With this opportunity, tens of thousands of CTE students can keep learning, even while they may not be allowed to gather in a physical classroom or lab.
Understanding the urgency for education to respond to the crisis, coalition partners are also providing recorded sessions with CTE instructors highlighting best practices in how to effectively utilize eLearning and online resources to educate students and quickly transition to a virtual learning environment.
Given the changing nature of the COVID-19 situation, CTE instructors are urged to periodically visit the Keep CTE Moving website at www.ctecoalition.com for additional remote learning resources and guidance that will likely evolve over time. The coalition is committed to continually monitoring the situation and coming together to respond to our nation’s educators and students.
“The coalition hopes that by offering these centralized online resources, we can quickly help thousands of students continue their studies in these unprecedented times when many schools are temporarily closed,” said Chelle Travis, executive director, SkillsUSA.
For more information on the Keep CTE Moving site and coalition efforts, visit www.ctecoalition.com.