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Workforce Development

Innovation, Manufacturing, and STEM: Education and Career Awareness

By  Carol King, Project Director, Mass-TEC @ Quinsigamond Community College

Mass-TEC, a three-year initiative (7/2007-6/2010) led by Quinsigamond Community College and partners, is funded by a grant through the National Science Foundation (NSF) Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program.  The project, which targets career influencers (i.e., parents & families, teachers & guidance counselors, and career advisors) through focused outreach efforts, is aimed at increasing the pool of skilled technicians available to Central Massachusetts-area manufacturing companies.

This March, Mass-TEC and Quinsigamond Community College are collaborating with the Central Massachusetts STEM Pipeline Network and partners to bring Innovation Month to the Worcester Public Schools.  Innovation Month activities and events will promote awareness of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and careers among middle and high school students, as well as their families. 

Many of the Innovation Month events geared towards middle school students include classroom visits by local STEM-related businesses, VEX Robotics Competitions, a citywide science fair at the Ecotarium, and the annual Women in Science and Men in STEM conferences.  There will also be a STEM College and Career Awareness Night at Hanover Insurance on March 23 from 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm.  This event, developed for middle and high school students and their parents, will include high school, college, and business information booths; VEX Robotics demonstrations; as well as presentations on college preparation and financial aid. 

Partners involved in planning Innovation Month activities include Abbott Laboratories, Central Massachusetts STEM Pipeline Network, Colleges of Worcester Consortium, Ecotarium, EMC, The Hanover Insurance Group, Intel Massachusetts, Quinsigamond Community College, STEMPower, University of Massachusetts Medical School, and Worcester Public Schools.  A calendar and description of Innovation Month events can be found online: 

In addition to Innovation Month activities, Mass-TEC is planning a series of spring events for teachers and guidance counselors of Worcester Public Schools, area parents and families, and community-based career advisors.  These events will include discussions with representatives from area manufacturing companies, videos, and information on education and career pathways into advanced manufacturing. 

Keep informed about Mass-TEC project activities by visiting the project’s blog (

This initiative succeeds only with the support of manufacturers in central Massachusetts.  To get involved and learn more about how you can help, contact any of the following individuals: 

  • Carol King, Mass-TEC Project Director at Quinsigamond Community College
    phone:  508-854-7526
    email:  [email protected]
  • Kathy Rentsch, Dean of Business and Technology at Quinsigamond Community College
    phone:  508-854-2712
    email:  [email protected]
  • Kathie Mahoney, Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership
    phone:  508-831-7020
    email:  [email protected]


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