Analysis: Innovation, cheap natural gas drive manufacturing jobs back to U.S.
The U.S. is regaining manufacturing jobs because of the availability and price of natural gas and the country's leadership in innovation, writes DSM North America President Hugh Welsh. "For the first time in decades, several key economic drivers have created a competitive advantage for the U.S. that will encourage corporate strategic decisions on capital allocation and acquisitions for generations to come," he writes. Business Insider
3D printing adds a fourth dimension
So-called 4D printing takes 3D printing a step further, enabling individual chunks of material to assemble themselves intelligently into any form desired. The new technology from Skylar Tibbits activates individual strands of material that in turn guide themselves into the prescribed shapes. The process also has the advantage of enabling the objects to be self-adapting after their creation. Wired.co.uk (U.K.)
Fla. task force to address skills gap in manufacturing
Leaders in business and economic development in the Tampa Bay area have formed a task force to address the manufacturing sector's growing skills gap. The group will complete an analysis aimed at identifying current needs of manufacturers through a survey that will target in-demand skills. The analysis will help educational institutions and elected officials allocate resources to provide appropriate training opportunities American City Business Journals/Tampa, Fla.
Technical training finds a new home in high school
While traditional high-school shop classes may be a thing of the past, schools are bringing back hands-on, vocational education in new ways -- with tech classes on campus, as well as opportunities for internships and apprenticeships with local industries. "We're hearing policy makers talk about it more often. Certain districts are looking at career and technical education as a way to reform schools," Stephen DeWitt, senior director of public policy for the Association for Career and Technical Education. "The focus on project-based learning, how to get students engaged more, is something that's caught on." CNN
Researchers study why some STEM majors drop out
The University of Colorado is using a $4.3 million grant to study why students are abandoning majors in science, technology, engineering and math. Between 40% and 60% of students leave STEM majors, according to an earlier study on the topic, so researchers will interview students and review which classes seem to weed them out in an effort to understand the nation's shortage of STEM graduates. Daily Camera (Boulder, Colo.)
New survey shows engineering grads receiving good salaries
Engineering graduates have good job prospects, according to a new salary survey released by the National Association of Colleges and Employers. New hires in professional, scientific and technical fields can expect a starting salary of $62,000, with government agencies paying an average of $67,000 per year. "The demand for engineering graduates remains strong, and that is reflected in the high starting salaries paid to these graduates," said NACE executive director Marilyn Mackes. The Sacramento Bee (Calif.) (free registration)
The tougher the road, the bigger the payoff
Don't be ashamed if you feel like you're struggling; take it as a sign you're growing, Steven Snyder writes. Embrace your career struggle by seeking difficult assignments and absorbing negative feedback. Enhance your resilience by taking up daily and weekly practices that will keep you personally centered such as exercising or gardening, Snyder writes. CNN
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