Director's Corner-Spring Update

Director's Corner - Spring Update
Posted on 04/02/2018

It has been a busy year at Franklin Technology Center and as I write this report, we are preparing for the “home stretch” of the school year.  We have some changes coming for Franklin Technology Center Adult Education.  The Franklin Technology Center Adult Education health related programs have been located on the campus of Missouri Southern State University since 1994.  Recent growth at MSSU has made it necessary for FTC to move the health programs back to Joplin schools facilities in the fall of 2019.

The Memorial Education Center will soon be the home for our adult programs that are currently housed at MSSU.  This includes our LPN program, Surgical Technology, Medical Assistant, Dental Assisting, and possibly our Respiratory Care program.  We hope to continue partnerships with MSSU and Crowder, but also look forward to additional partnerships with other area institutions when in the best interests of our students.

Next fall we will introduce a New Diesel Technology evening program to our adult education offerings, with potential articulations for credit with Pittsburg State University and other partnerships to be determined.  We will prepare our students to be entry level employable as Preventive Maintenance Inspectors for the Diesel Technology field.  We are currently accepting applications for two part-time evening instructors for this program.  We are excited about adding this to our offerings, and feel there is a strong need for it in our region.  Diesel Technology will be another full-time adult instructional program that will be financial aid eligible.

We continue to explore opportunities to introduce both secondary and adult students to the field of manufacturing.  Short-term opportunities will be provided to bring adult students into the manufacturing lab next year with the long-term hope of having enough interest to create a viable secondary manufacturing program for future FTC students.

Career and Technical Education is receiving a long needed boost in funding through the Federal Carl Perkins reauthorization.  The emphasis of much of the funding increase will be to provide workplace opportunities for students through intern and apprenticeship programs.  If our nation plans to increase manufacturing opportunities at home, then we must in turn provide training programs that appeal to the workforce needed for these new jobs. 

The skills gap in the U.S. is substantial. The National Federation of Independent Business found that as of first-quarter 2017, 45 percent of small businesses reported that they were unable to find qualified applicants to fill job openings.  Lack of qualified workers needed for skilled trades jobs fostered the development of Area Career Centers (vocational schools) many years ago.  We have a very similar need in the US currently, and will need to work with diligence to provide the right training for our students that our local workforce needs.  It has to be the right fit, for both the students and the employers.   

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