Mississippi State University's Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems-Extension and the Advanced Composites Institute brought Mississippi manufacturers and educators together to discuss and learn about workforce training needs, issues, and solutions for a next generation of Industry 4.0 Talent. Industry 4.0 (i4.0) refers to the 4th Industrial Revolution that focuses on interconnectivity, automation, and real-time data to move toward smart factories. It requires workers with high-tech skills in areas such as integrated robots and assembly, automation, visual management, virtual reality, and other advanced manufacturing roles. Tonya McCall, CAVS-E Director, emphasized that these enhanced skills are necessary to promote automation technologies that increase productivity and help make manufacturing businesses more globally competitive and economically stable.
During this event, Dr. Courtney Taylor and Lori Nail of AccelerateMS discussed workforce challenges and an ecosystem approach that would accelerate workforce skills development by connecting curriculum development in K-12 and at the community college and university levels of education. An industry panel discussion, led by Sandy Crist of the Mississippi Manufacturers Association-Manufacturing Extension Partnership, provided insight into the structure and skills needs of the manufacturing sectors in the state. An education panel, led by MSU's Tonia Lane, highlighted effective workforce training models and industry involvement, and discussed the alignment of curriculum to the needs of Mississippi manufacturers. This Growing Next Generation Industry 4.0 Talent event was sponsored by Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) and the Mississippi State University Office of Research and Economic Development.
CAVS-E currently offers professional development training programs to support sustainable technology-based skills in i4.0 and a K-12 STEM Program, which focuses on areas such as robotics and mechatronics. To learn more about i4.0, or about the programs and services available through CAVS-E, contact Tonya McCall, email@example.com, or at 601.407.2767.