NC3 Hosted an Advanced Manufacturing Career Pathways Conference at ACTE CareerTech VISION

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In partnership with ACTE, the National Coalition of Certification Centers (NC3) proudly hosted an Advanced Manufacturing Career Pathways Conference on December 1, 2021, at the ACTE CareerTech VISION Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana.

During this unique one-day conference, CTE administrators and instructors from secondary and post-secondary institutions nationwide explored how to grow and/or evolve their trade and industrial education programs into high-performing advanced manufacturing pathways.

Conference attendees:

  • Experienced the power of hands-on CTE learning first-hand by becoming students for the day during special hands-on workshops where they experienced curriculum and equipment that is actually used in today’s manufacturing facilities as well as in NC3 schools to teach tomorrow’s technologies
  • Learned how to create effective multi-industry partnerships during a panel discussion with NC3’s Executive Director and several of NC3’s world-class global industry partners
  • Explored industry’s perspective on the changing dynamics of the workplace/workforce, how industry is responding to the changes, and their thoughts on how to work in collaboration with education to provide solutions
  • Learned how employers are recruiting, hiring, and training employees, and how they’re engaging with schools in CTE through the issuance and recognition of industry-recognized certifications for students
  • Participated in 5 different topic-driven breakout sessions to better understand the importance of students obtaining high-demand skills and industry-recognized certifications earlier in their educational careers, how to develop relevant CTE pathways from K-12 into post-secondary, how to work with local and national industry partners to develop employability pathways that benefit both schools and industry, and more

When asked about the event, Barrett Crane, the National Sales Manager for Snap-on Industrial Education, said, “It was encouraging to take part in such a critical event. Manufacturing jobs bring life-changing opportunities to many who struggle to find a career. This event introduced to participants the open dialog that is possible when education and industry make time to communicate. Further understanding the needs of employers, while learning about actionable programs that align and support these needs, was powerful.  I hope that this kind of collaboration will continue and look forward to the opportunity to meet again next year.”

Tony Oran, the Vice President of Sales for Festo Didactic, Inc. added “The only way to close the skills gap and fill the skills shortage is to bring industry and education together and attack this critical issue. Today’s event was just that. We brought several major industries together with many educators to clearly show there is a path to success. Festo has been dedicated to this mission since 1965 and we will continue to support CTE through opportunities like this.”

Dr. Jason Scales, the Business Manager of Education for Lincoln Electric, said he felt inspired by the strength and solidary shown among NC3’s industry partners at the event. “Lincoln Electric is proud to be a partner with other industry-leading companies that share a renowned interest in addressing the skills gap. Collaboratively working together through NC3 to provide industry-recognized certificates that lead to meaningful jobs and careers is why we do what we do. Being here and working together at ACTE to deliver meaningful sessions to educators has been a tremendous experience for all involved,” he said.

In addition to sharing a plethora of valuable information with attendees at the event, Ben Stahl, the Service Operations Leader of the Gulf Coast for Commercial HVAC at Trane Technologies, mentioned that he’s also looking forward to sharing what he learned at the event with his colleagues throughout the Southeast. “The focus on building and supporting an education system to support technical careers is a huge step in building a sustainable technical workforce. The emphasis on specific trades and specialized skillsets definitely adds to the value NC3 brings to the college system.”

NC3’s Executive Team, Program Managers, and world-class industry partners were honored they had this opportunity to showcase how they successfully support schools in the NC3 Network and that they had the opportunity to extend that same support to schools that attended the event as they look to launch new manufacturing programs and/or restructure their already existing manufacturing programs.

“Our team is looking forward to hosting an annual manufacturing-focused event at ACTE CareerTech VISION moving forward,” Roger Tadajewski, the Executive Director of NC3, said. “If you weren’t able to attend our event this year, be sure to save the date for next year!”

ACTE CareerTech VISION 2022 is going to be held from November 30 to December 3, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. 

About NC3

NC3 was established to help build a workforce prepared to meet the needs of today’s and tomorrow’s industries by connecting employers and educational institutions in synergistic partnerships that foster effective training, the elevation of skilled careers, and employment opportunities. In fulfilling its mission, NC3 builds deep industry-educational partnerships and develops, implements, and sustains industry-recognized portable certifications built on national skills standards. We envision an industrial labor market where all workers have jobs they need to thrive and all companies have well-trained employees they need to operate and grow. Learn more at

About ACTE

The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) is the nation’s largest not-for-profit association committed to the advancement of education that prepares youth and adults for successful careers. ACTE represents the community of CTE professionals, including educators, administrators, researchers, school counselors, guidance and career development professionals and others at all levels of education. ACTE is committed to excellence in providing advocacy, public awareness and access to resources, professional development and leadership opportunities.

Contact: Ashley Adams,, (760) 782-5923

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