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  • Writer's pictureOlivia Liu

Timeline of Fellowship Field Study

Updated: Dec 9, 2023

An overview of the project, "The State of Manufacturing Workforce Development in the Rust Belt and Rural America."

February 2022: Granted Vernot-Jonas Fellowship by the National Cathedral School Global Programs.

Received over $1,600 in funding to complete study outlined in six-page proposal.

June 5th - 6th 2022: Automate 2022, Detroit, Michigan

Automate 2022 is the largest trade show for automated technologies in North America.

Asked corporate representatives for their outlook on effect of automated technologies on manufacturing workforce and comment on importance of youth engagement in manufacturing.

Booths visited:



JR Automation

Holland, MI


Santa Clara, CA


Rochester Hills, MI

Michigan Aventics

Lexington, KY


Cleveland, OH

Motus Labs

Dallas, TX

YRG Robotics

Fort Wayne, IN

Custom Machine & Tool

Hanover, MA

Attended Panel Discussion: The Workforce Crisis – Strategies for Cultivating Talent

  • Mike Cicco, President and CEO @ FANUC America

  • Bill Beistline, Vice President @ Flex-N-Gate

  • Bryan Albrecht, President @ Gateway Technical College

  • Michael Chichester, Jr., Co-Chair @ Robotics, AI, and Automation Practice Group

July - August 2022: Background Online Research on Educational Institutions in Rural America



Westomoreland County Community College

Youngwood, PA

Center for Occupational Research and Development

Waco, TX

Northwest Michigan Works!

Cadillac, MI

Patrick & Henry Community College

Martinsville, VA

North Central State College

Mansfield, OH

July - September 2022: 7 Interviews

August 3rd, 2022: Dr. Bryan Albrecht, President and CEO of Gateway Technical College

Gateway Technical College serves two urban counties (Racine County and Kenosha County) and one rural county (Walworth County). Nearby specialized industries are reflected in Gateway's breadth of manufacturing coursework.

August 8th, 2022: Mrs. Gayle Manchin, Federal Co-Chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission

Mrs. Manchin, a lifelong educator and former First Lady of West Virginia, leads the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), a partnership between the federal government and 13 state governments working to solidify the economic ecosystems of 423 counties in the Appalachian region.

July 18th, 2022: Hannah Rodriguez, Program Officer at Manistee County Community Foundation in Manistee, Michigan

The Launch Manistee Network is a partnership of local businesses, childcare centers, college access networks, youth councils, and community colleges that guides Manistee residents from early childhood education to adult post-secondary education.

July 29th, 2022: Nico Thomas, Economist at NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership

The Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) works with small- to medium-sized manufacturers to maximize their production efficiencies, competitiveness, and employee recruitment and retention.

August 30th, 2022: Craig McAtee, CEO of the National Coalition of Advanced Technology Centers (NCATC)

The National Coalition of Advanced Technology Centers (NCATC) is a non-profit organization formed by IBM and Lucent Technologies 35 years ago, connects community colleges to over 50 major industry partners.

September 1st, 2022: Michael Minter, Director of Career Academy in Martinsville, Virginia

The Career Academy is a vocational school that serves Magna Vista High School and Bassett High School. Students receive instruction in career fields such as cybersecurity, agriculture, and veterinary sciences, at the Career Academy facility.

September 2nd, 2022: Bill Donohue, Executive Director of GENEDGE

GENEDGE is the Virginia state center of the NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP). It helps manufacturing, technology, and engineering companies remain competitive by consulting them on technological trends and workforce retention.

September 10th, 2022: Trip to Martinsville, Virginia

City in southwest Virginia, population of just over 12,500. Visited 1,000-acre industrial park that houses the manufacturing facilities of corporations in the food production, high-performance films, and textiles sectors.

Took pictures of various facilities, observed the Martinsville’s city layout, and visited the Career Academy.

September 12th, 2022: International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) 2022

IMTS is the largest and oldest trade show for manufacturing in the Western Hemisphere.

Visited the SmartForce show floor, which was catered to youth attendees, to analyze how major corporations are trying to pitch manufacturing to middle school and high school students.

Inquired corporate representatives about the curriculums, manufacturing training initiatives, and youth outreach that their companies had created and performed.

Booths visited:



ABB, Ltd.

Cary, NC

Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing Institute

Pittsburgh, PA

America Makes

Youngstown, OH

Autodesk Education

San Rafael, CA


Rochester Hills, MI

Festo-Didactic Inc.

Eatontown, NJ


Wheeling, IL

Haas Automation

Oxnard, CA


Tolland, CT


Washington, D.C.

SMS Corporation of America

Noblesville, IN

Tooling U-SME

Cleveland, OH

Yaskawa America

Waukegan, IL

September 2022 - January 2023: Aggregated and analyzed field work findings, published written reports

February 2023: Fellowship Findings Presented to National Cathedral School Upper School

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