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Paper: An Engineering Technology Skills Framework that Reflects Workforce Needs on Maui and the Big Island of Hawai‘i
Volume: 436, Learning from Inquiry In Practice
Page: 434
Authors: Seagroves, S.; Hunter, L.
Abstract: The Akamai Workforce Initiative (AWI) is an interdisciplinary effort to improve science\slash engineering education in the state of Hawai‘i, and to train a diverse population of local students in the skills needed for a high-tech economy. In 2009, the AWI undertook a survey of industry partners on Maui and the Big Island of Hawai‘i to develop an engineering technology skills framework that will guide curriculum development at the U. of Hawai‘i – Maui (formerly Maui Community College). This engineering skills framework builds directly on past engineering-education developments within the Center for Adaptive Optics Professional Development Program, and draws on curriculum development frameworks and engineering skills standards from the literature. Coupling that previous work with reviews of past Akamai Internship projects and information from previous conversations with the local high-tech community led to a structured-interview format where engineers and managers could contribute meaningful commentary to this framework. By incorporating these local high-tech companies’ needs for entry-level engineers and technicians, a skills framework emerges that is unique and illuminating. Two surprising features arise in this framework: (1) “technician-like” skills of making existing technology work are on similar footing with “engineer-like” skills of creating new technology; in fact, both engineers and technicians at these workplaces use both sets of skills; and (2) project management skills are emphasized by employers even for entry-level positions.
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