The TechEd Podcast

The TechEd Podcast

Bridging the gap between technical education & the workforce 🎙 Hosted by Matt Kirchner, each episode features conversations with leaders who are shaping, innovating and disrupting the future of the skilled workforce and how we inspire and train up students toward those jobs. STEM, Career and Technical Education, and Engineering educators - this podcast is for you! Manufacturing and industrial employers - this podcast is for you, too!


April 9, 2024 39 mins

While colleges across the U.S. are worried about declining enrollment, Lake Area Technical College in South Dakota is expanding.

President Tiffany Sanderson sees the value in building a vision so big, so bold that other organizations can't help but want to get involved. And in a state like South Dakota that is seeing faster than average population growth, now is the time for expansion!

In this episode, you&ap...

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Are you a budding entrepreneur with a great business idea? Have you always wanted to start a company in the tech space, but don't know where to start?

Get great advice on launching your own tech company as you listen to our conversation with Amber Busuttil Mullen, partner at Bowen Tax Law. Amber has spent her career helping executives in their businesses and knows that tech is everywhere! From cosmetics to fabrics, ic...

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Funding, filling programs, and finding partners in industry - these are three challenges facing technical colleges across the country. And a great solution to all these challenges: industry-sponsored programs.

North Dakota State College of Science has an incredible Diesel Technology program that partners with the biggest brands in agricultural equipment like John Deere, Case, Komatsu and Caterpillar to offer hands-on, care...

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Peter Rathmann is an advocate for neurodiversity in the manufacturing workforce. As CEO of Allis Manufacturing, he's built a culture that gives these individuals the tools for a successful career. As a father, he's seen his own daughter Emma, who has Asperger's Syndrome, find passion in a manufacturing job.

Now, Peter joins us on the podcast to shed light on the great value these individuals can bring to the...

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What if your company had a digital library of every single drawing, from the newest designs to 100-year-old hand-drawn copies for parts still in use? What if this digital file system was powered by artificial intelligence and could read not just the text on each drawing, but could actually understand all the data (material types, revisions, even identify similar drawings)?

That's exactly what Yushiro Kato and the team...

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What does the future of disease research look like? How can artificial intelligence help researchers make new discoveries faster? How can medical professionals synthesize the vast amounts of patient data to offer the best, most personalized care possible

These are some of the questions we explore with Dr. Julie Panepinto, who leads the National Institutes of Health's Division of Blood Diseases and Resources


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Higher education is facing an enrollment cliff. Or, as Augustana University President Stephanie Herseth Sandlin puts it, a "consumption cliff." Not only are there fewer students for universities to recruit, there are also fewer students even considering enrolling in post-secondary education.

In this episode, we discuss some of the ways private universities can hedge against these upcoming challenges. STEM educati...

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Get ready to start your AI journey in manufacturing! We sat down with industry visionary Todd Wanek, CEO of Ashley Furniture Industries, to get his best practices for developing an AI strategy.

According to Wanek, businesses have 3-5 years to figure out AI, or get left behind.  Fortunately for us, Ashley Furniture - the world's largest furniture manufacturer with 35,000 employees globally - has already started their A...

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How can we better serve students in a city like Milwaukee, where 50% of students attend mediocre or failing schools, and only 65% of students even graduate high school? This data isn't anomalous; urban regions across the U.S. are failing our students, creating systems lacking in hope and opportunity for our kids.

One school in Milwaukee has found tremendous success by taking a holistic approach to K-12 education - one...

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Every student should have access to the educational opportunities they need to pursue the careers they're passionate about - and that means removing as many financial barriers as possible.

When it comes to students attending technical and community colleges, often these financial barriers look much different than those faced by a traditional university student. And yet of the 1,500 applications the SME Education Found...

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The traditional K-12 education model in America - one that's remain unchanged for decades - no longer serves our students like it should. It's an inadequate system that needs to be disrupted, and superintendent Justin Wagner and his team at Woodbine Community School District decided to take action to change it.

Hear how they built a new model centered around involved, relevant and personalized learning. One that focuses on...

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GrayMatter Robotics is revolutionizing industrial automation, powering their robots with artificial intelligence as we enter the age of the "digital worker."

We sat down with Co-Founder and CEO Ariyan Kabir to hear just how innovative their approach to automation is.

What makes them so unique? GrayMatter Robotics is a company that develops AI software for robots, focusing on surface finishing and treatme...

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Autonomous trucks, robotics and AI are revolutionizing the mining industry...and now engineering students of all disciplines are being prepared for these fascinating careers at South Dakota Mines!

Dr. Jim Rankin, President of the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology (often called South Dakota Mines) discusses the institution's focus on STEM education and its impact on the mining and mineral industries. SDSMT is...

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Skilled talent is in high demand - in every industry. Caliber Collision is facing the shortage in the automotive collision repair industry, where they estimate 30% of the market needs are being unmet due to a lack of technicians.

Eddie Hightower leads Caliber's sustainability & social responsibility efforts, which includes the company's Technician Apprentice Program, designed to address the shortage of traine...

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It's the start of a new year, and that means...our annual predictions episode is here! Host Matt Kirchner shares the top 9 trends & technologies that will impact the world of technical education in 2024.

How exactly will AI impact the way we teach, the way students learn, and how we do business in 2024? What will happen with the ever-growing shortage of skilled talent? How will the enrollment cliff affect higher e...

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Technical and community colleges not just degree factories; they're the solution to meeting the shifting demands of the workforce while creating economic and social mobility for individuals.

In this episode of the podcast, we're joined by Dr. Lori Suddick, President of the College of Lake County, to dive into this important topic of education-industry alignment.

CLC is positioned at the heart of the Midw...

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Ever wondered how a seventh-grade engineering camp can ignite a lifelong passion for STEM? Alyssa Sanders, Associate Director of Research and Development Engineering at Baxter, is living proof of just that.

This week's episode is a fascinating discussion about the role of innovation in an engineering career. Managing a diverse, global team of engineers, Alyssa is an expert on innovation, product development and manufa...

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We went in search of the most cutting-edge learning systems that every career and technical education program should have in their classrooms in 2024.

The best place to find them? ACTE's annual CareerTech VISION conference, where technical educators from across the United States come to learn best practices and discover the latest innovations for delivering career-focused courses to their students.

Out of the hundreds of technol...

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Don't underestimate Milwaukee - a thriving city with not only a rich history, but a bright future with opportunities to live, work and play.

Kathy Henrich is CEO of the Milwaukee Tech Hub Coalition, a nonprofit on a mission to grow the region's tech ecosystem while creating life-altering opportunities for tech talent. We dive deep into Milwaukee's unique tech landscape (and the blending of traditional indust...

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In a world of constant information overload, how do you stay connected with your network and build meaningful relationships? Canay Deniz, Co-Founder and CEO of Ren joins us on the podcast to discuss a groundbreaking software that leverages artificial intelligence to get you in touch with the people you care about most, at the times it matters most.

Discover the power of AI in strengthening relationships, improving efficien...

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