A bit of unsolicited advice for workshop presenters
I'm currently in Washington, D.C. at the Advanced Technology Education conference co-sponsored by National Science Foundation and the American Association of Community Colleges. The people here are an interesting mix of instructors teaching high tech stuff and instructors who sometimes seem more advanced in age than technological know-how.
Mind you, people are doing amazing things. Some colleges have nanotechnology, some microfabrication, some biotechnology, computer forensics, but some of the high tech programs are ... Read more
Workforce shortages are a growing problem in the biotech industry. Communities are concerned that a lack of trained workers will either keep companies away or cause companies to move. If companies do have to move, it's likely those jobs might be lost forever, never to return. According to Robert Reich, former U.S. secretary of labor, now a professor at UC-Berkeley, biotech companies that can't hire in the U.S. will recruit foreign workers or open research centers overseas (Luke Timmerman, Seattle PI).
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Community colleges are such extraordinary places that even California's governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger credits his time at Santa Monica community college as one of the secrets to his success.
From the SF Chronicle:
"People always ask me 'What is the secret of your success?' " he said Tuesday. "I always say, 'Come to America. Go to community college. And marry a Kennedy. It's all very simple.' "