The Business Council of New York State is promoting the varsity Sport for the MindTM, the First Robotics Competition (FRC). FRC combines the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology. Teams of high school students are challenged to design, build and program robots to perform prescribed tasks against a field of competitors. Organizers describe FRC as being “as close to real-world engineering as a student can get.” According to the FRC website, “Under strict rules, limited resources, and time limits, teams of 25 students or more are challenged to raise funds, design a team ‘brand,’ hone teamwork skills, and build and program robots to perform prescribed tasks against a field of competitors.”
Two Business Council members — Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Rochester Institute of Technology are hosting regional competitions in March. Other competitions will take place regionally.
At these regional competitions the objective will be to get the robot to carry a 2 ft. ball from one end of the field to the other, passing the ball from one robot to the next.
In addition to learning from building a robot, the students learn the importance of working together as part of a team.
Businesses can support teams with mentors, coaches or sponsorships. If you would like to get involved please contact The Business Council.
If you would like to read more about what students in the Capital Region are doing to get ready for the RPI competition, you can read reporter Andrew Bream’s story about the competition in the Troy Record.
Thomas Friedman’s op-ed in the New York Times highlights American innovation and how technology allows companies, like General Electric, to develop products faster and more efficiently. Engineers can use three-dimensional, computer-aided design software to design the parts on a computer screen, then transmit it to a 3-D printer, which builds the piece out. It can then be tested immediately.
Friedman recently toured General Electric’s research lab in Niskayuna, just north of Albany to see what new technologies, business models — and therefore jobs — could be brought about, in addition to the influence on public and education policy.
Several groups have come up with a plan to convert four blocks of warehouses into high-tech facilities. Reporter Matt Chaban describes the ambitious project which would “cement Brooklyn’s role as an incubator for new and growing tech outfits.”
IT professionals with experience in security made the biggest gains, with base salaries jumping 61% in 2013
Manhattan-based tech staffing company, Mondo, released a survey showing that the base salary of information technology professionals jumped to $145,000 in 2013. The reasons are simple: cyberthefts and cyberattacks have also jumped, costing companies big money.
Matthew Flamm, reporter for Crain’s New York Business, breaks down the pay increases for other technology professionals.
Workforce development has been one of The Business Council’s leading concerns as more and more of it members report a shortage of workers with skills to fill high-skill jobs. On its Education and Workforce Development committee webpage, The Business Council wrote about the importance of training individuals in STEM fields — science, technology, engineering and math — “[it’s] critical if we want to stay competitive in the global economy. The Business Council supports initiatives that foster the development of a 21st century workforce, ensure that students are well prepared for entrance into college and career, and strengthen partnerships between private-sector companies, colleges and local school districts.”
In a report in the Times Union, Eric Anderson cited a report by America’s Edge, “a business-supported organization that advocates investments in education, they warned that the state will eventually face a shortage of 350,000 workers with the skills to fill so-called “middle-skill” jobs, those that require training beyond high school but not a bachelor’s degree.”
Click here to read more.
In a win for New York schools, the Mexico, NY school system ranked in the top ten nationally for exemplary use of technology. The award was issued by the National School Boards Association and the Center for Digital Education and the Mexico school system was the only New York school to make the list. The Syracuse Post Standard has more on the award.
Preparing New York students for future careers is a priority for The Business Council. In early April, we partnered with the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for a Competitive Workforce and the National Chamber Foundation to host an educational conference “Breaking the Monopoly of Mediocrity” that focused on career readiness for New York students.
The City of Albany is considering technology that would let you know via cell phone if your parking meter is about to expire. It will also ask you if you want to add money.
Read the full story on the Times Union website.
In his article covering “Breaking the Monopoly of Mediocrity”, The Business Council’s educational conference with the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for a Competitive Workforce and the National Chamber Foundation, Rick Karlin of the Times Union illustrates how Clarkson University graduates who have much needed technology, math or science background could make more than Harvard University graduates in today’s job market. Business Council President and CEO Heather Briccetti is featured in the article stating, “Over the next decade, American businesses will need more than 1 million college grads who possess STEM, or science technology.”
Read the full article, U.S. lacks tech skills, on the Times Union website.
Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerman, recently sent President Obama and legislative leaders a letter urging them to help reform the current immigration system which he called “outdated and inefficient.” He cited an issue that The Business Council has addressed here in New York, finding qualified, highly-skilled professionals to fill open jobs. Zuckerman is referencing the 85,000 H-1B visas that make up the U.S. government limit for this year. More than a hundred corporate heads and associations, including several members of The Business Council, signed on to the letter.
Here’s a snippet of that letter:
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are tens of thousands of unfilled jobs requiring highly skilled individuals. Five high-tech companies alone – IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Oracle and Qualcomm – have combined 10,000 openings in the United States. Each one of these jobs has thepotential to create many others, directly and indirectly. Bipartisan legislation currently introduced in theSenate, such as The Immigration Innovation Act of 2013, and bi-partisan legislation focused onaddressing the needs of entrepreneurs and start ups such as the Startup Visa Act and Startup Act 3.0, willencourage innovation here in the U.S. by allowing American companies and entrepreneurs to have accessto the talented workers they need while simultaneously investing in STEM education here in the U.S. We know what it will take to keep America in a position of global leadership. We know that when America is leading, our economic growth follows to the benefit of our nation’s workforce.
We call on you to address the need for more qualified, highly-skilled professionals, domestic and foreign,and to enact immigration reform this year. We look forward to working with you and your colleagues in a bipartisan way as we move forward in our common interest.
Click here to see the full text.
Click here to learn more about the Made in New York movement.
Some of our members have expressed to us what the following story reports – that they are having difficulty finding skilled labor in New York. This is a topic we’ll be covering at two upcoming events: The Technology Roundtable on March 20 and the 2013 Education Conference, April 4. There is space available, so, if interested, please register today.
The following Associated Press story appeared in The Washington Post is a terrific read. It takes a look at the growing concern of the skills shortage, recruitment and education and Click here to read more.