DVIRC has been working on many fronts to develop talent for the advanced manufacturing sector at the individual firm level, through focused educational programming through the Institute for World Class Manufacturing®, and through regional partnerships with schools, businesses, workforce partners, and other non-profits. Historically, the Center has a long track record of working with secondary and post-secondary schools to support programming that stays current with the changing needs of industry. Recently, the region has established a track record of focusing on STEM Education that dates back to the Regional STEM Forums held in 2006 in partnership with many institutions and organizations.
DVIRC worked with several organizations to craft and distribute the Regional Compact for STEM Education, and co-authored the proposal which led to PA’s STEM Award from the National Governor’s Association to organize the commonwealth in support of STEM education. Many others have worked directly with the state on the STEM strategy and helped to establish Pennsylvania’s model and the five STEM Networks. The model and those networks were based on the Regional Compact, which set forth guiding principles for regional collaboration around STEM education.
Our region has had a long-standing focus on education through organizations such as Graduate! Philadelphia, Research for Better Schools and the Philadelphia Education Fund’s Math + Science Coalition. We have a brand new organization focused on STEM that has won a major federal contract with partners from around the state and nation—the 21st Century Partnership for STEM Education—and that continues to provide leading-edge research and consulting. DVIRC has partnered with these and other organizations to plan and execute regional initiatives, including recent efforts such as the Greater Philadelphia Innovation Cluster for Energy Efficient Buildings, and regional planning for National Defense Education Programs with the Navy.
- We have a strong track record with Community College program development through the Applied Engineering Technology project, and a great regional asset that has organized the community colleges and Drexel University to form the Collegiate Consortium for Workforce and Economic Development
- We understand the need to (and want to) work in a tri-state labor market, and work closely with Select Greater Philadelphia which provides current data and innovative research on the tri-state economy and labor market.
- We have the wherewithal to bring together education, non-profits, economic development, workforce development, and business
- We understand and pay attention to the value of social capital as a regional asset, were encouraged to apply to the National Science Foundation for an Early Stage Grant for Exploratory Research, and received an award in August 2010
The DVIRC has spent the last decade working with high schools, community colleges and four-year institutions in various capacities around talent development. Of particular note is our work with Delaware County Community College on the development of an Applied Engineering Technology education program, which many minorities have successfully completed, leading to employment in area companies such as Sunoco, Penn Machine, Synthes, Southco, Exelon, Boeing, and many others.
 See http://www.dccc.edu/aet222/