TIES Program: Successful Strategies for Cross Border Workforce Development

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2 TIES Program: Successful Strategies for Cross Border Workforce Development Dr. Federico Zaragoza, Vice Chancellor for Economic and Workforce Development Carol Fimmen Director, International Programs Steven Lewis, Director, Service, Trade, & Industry/ESK/Sections Jennifer Sisane, Training and Development Jose Luna, Coordinator of Technical Programs

3 Workers Along the Texas/Mexico NAFTA Corridor - Partners U.S. Higher Education Institutions Alamo Colleges El Paso Community College Laredo Community College Texas State Technical College Mexican Higher Education Institutions Universidad Tecnológica de Coahuila- Saltillo Universidad Tecnológica de Juárez Universidad Tecnológica de Matamoros Universidad Tecnológica De Nuevo Laredo Universidad Tecnológica de Tamaulipas Norte Universidad Tecnológica Norte de Coahuila

4 Workers - Background Loss of market share to China in manufacturing and related industries Loss of more than 500 maquiladoras plants in Mexico since 2000 Largest impact of permanent job loss was concentrated in the lowest-skill, lowest-wage sectors Mexican maquiladora industry relies on increasing productivity by means of more sophisticated production processes and manufacturing technology enhancements Without adequate training, many of the existing maquiladora workers will not have the skills to meet the standards required to remain productively employed

5 Workers - Goals and Objectives Goal: To increase the productivity and competitiveness of Mexico s maquiladora industry through an integrated program of workforce training and capacity building in technical higher education Objectives: 1. Developing training program on advanced manufacturing electronic technology systems; 2. Providing master s level training in workforce development management and educational leadership; 3. Strengthening curriculum and faculty development at the Mexican technological universities; 4. Strengthening linkages with secondary education institutions to better align curriculum and teaching between high schools, technological universities and the productive sector so that students are better prepared to enter technical fields of study.

6 Workers - Challenges U.S. State Department travel warning to locations in Mexico (along the northern border) has resulted in all training courses taught online or by video conferencing Difficult to transmit courses to 6 Mexican partners simultaneously due to varying levels of technological capacity Budget restrictions have influenced current and projected activities

7 Workers - Outcomes to Date Developed master s degree in management with Wayland Baptist University with an emphasis in workforce development Eight faculty members from Mexican partners began English as a Second Language using online technology Eight faculty members from Mexican partners completed first concentrated course in San Antonio and are currently enrolled in a set of online courses. The use of the latest distance learning technology using Blackboard will allow them to complete courses in Mexico before returning to the U.S. for final course work followed by in internship.

8 Workers - master s degree course completion

9 Workers - Outcomes to Date Alamo Colleges offered a video conference training course on Lean Manufacturing for managers of the Mexican border maquiladoras 50 participants Texas State Technical College offered the following online training courses: - Introduction to Pneumatics (40 hours) 43 participants - Fundamentals of CNC (40 hours) 45 participants - Introduction to Hydraulics (40 hours) 45 participants Second set of training courses for maquiladora workers and managers will - be discussed in detail by Steven Lewis and Jose Luna

10 Workers - Training on Computer Numerical Control Machine

11 Workers - Technology in the master s degree English as a Second Language One half of the course was taught online using a system designed for English instruction Areas covered were reading, writing and comprehension skills Interaction with the instructor using and other online communication Regular one-to-one communication using online technology between student and instructor to assess skill development (2 ½ hours daily when they were in San Antonio)

12 Workers - Technology in the project Simultaneous transmission to 6 Mexican partners and /or 3 US partners simultaneously was an initial problem due to varying levels of technological capacity. Nefsis Web and Video Conferencing will be the solution: - users launch their web browser and click on a link - almost any webcam or pc-based video conferencing equipment cab be used

13 Workers - Technology in the training courses Prior to offering the course: Faculty and technical support at U.S. institution and institution spend two weeks going over the course requirements and how it will be taught online. Testing of technology is completed. During the course: The Mexican faculty member and tech support are present to help facilitate the online process.

14 Workers - Technology in project administration Partnership Activities Discussions held using video conferencing Communication using Skype Ongoing use of

15 Workers - Technology in project administration Initial proposal had face-to-face training courses in Mexico online or video conference courses hybrid of the two Distance learning technology has allow the project to be completed.

16 Workers - Technology in project administration Workforce Training- The capacity building concept In the workforce component we developed capacity through: Manufacturing courses offered on site in Mexico English courses offered to employees of manufacturers Train the trainer courses for faculty of Mexican technical universities

17 Workers - Technology in project administration Workforce Training- Needs analysis Our strategies for aligning our course offerings with workforce needs included: Face to face meetings with technical universities and industry representatives A conference in which we matched course offerings with training requirements Regular communication with technical universities and the maquiladoras they serve

18 Workers - Technology in project administration Workforce Training- Selection of instructors Special considerations in instructor selection: Industrial course instructors had experience in Latin American manufacturing Spanish language instruction required native speakers or very fluent speakers English instructors had to make the language relevant to workforce needs All instructors required orientation on live distance learning technology

19 Workers - Technology in project administration Workforce Training- Instructional technology Technology required in order to conduct live distance learning: Reliable Internet connection at both ends A teleconferencing platform incorporating teaching tools Most instructors used a projector and screen Computers with capacity to show PowerPoint presentations and video A good quality external video camera and microphone A lesson recording device is useful

20 Workers - Technology in project administration Questions and Answers????? Contact: Carol Fimmen Steven Lewis

21 Workers - Technology in project administration Thank You Muchas Gracias

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