ATETV Episode 38: Industry Takes Notice

This week, we visit an international robotics competition where employers are scouting for talent and we learn how industry input is helping Environmental Technology students to graduate “job-ready.”

In our first segment, we check in at the MATE International ROV Competition, where Marine Technology students are designing and building intricate remotely operated vehicles, often known as underwater robots. And industry is paying attention.

“Our company uses this competition as a scouting maneuver,” says Nancy Fletcher of Ocean Works International. She explains that by observing students at work during the competition, she gets to see firsthand how they deal with a variety of issues and how they react under pressure. “This competition gives us an opportunity to collect resumes from young engineers [and technicians] so that we can be first to snatch them up [when they graduate.] We see the future of our industry right here.”

Nancy’s Ocean Works colleague Richard Gage agrees that there’s no shortage of jobs available for talented individuals. “There are a lot of opportunities [in Marine Technology fields] right now. Just in my company alone I hear all the time that ROV pilots are in short supply, divers are in short supply and engineers are in short supply.”

Student Jonathan Terry is one of the talented individuals taking part in the MATE competition and he’s excited about his future prospects. “I love this field. I want to keep pursuing my education in this field and I’m definitely hoping to work in the field. I’ve always been drawn to the water…so I’m hoping to continue in that direction.”

In our second segment, we learn about Environmental Technology, another up-and-coming field that provides its employees with the opportunity to get out of the office and work outdoors. “Environmental Science encompasses many things,” explains Stephanie Brady, Senior Special Coordinator for Environmental Technology at Cape Cod Community College. “It’s science, it’s technology-based, it’s learning about politics. It’s a lot of different disciplines [within the broad field of Environmental Technology.]”

D-Jay Laffoon enjoys his classroom work but says that what he likes the best about the program is the opportunity to be outdoors collecting data, such as well water samples. “There is definitely a lot of hands-on [instruction] that teaches you to use equipment and prepares you for the workplace.”

With input from an advisory board made up of industry experts, as well as classroom instructors who currently work in the Environmental Industry, the Environmental Technology program at Cape Cod Community College is actively preparing students for future careers.

“What I hear from the companies that hire our students is that they like the fact that they’re job-ready [from Day One]” says Stephanie. “[Students are] familiar with the instrumentation, they have the necessary math skills, they have writing skills, oral communication skills.”

So whether it’s Marine Technology or Environmental Technology, when it comes to their future careers it sounds to us like these students are ready to dive right in!

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