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FIRST Robotics Will Hold a Regional Competition at Rockland Community College

 

Imagine a competition where of teams excited, technology-driven high school students compete head to head with robots they have designed, built and programmed themselves. Imagine hundreds of such teams competing in the Hudson Valley over a single weekend for the chance to advance to compete in front of 70,000 people in April at the FIRST Championship in Houston and again in May in Detroit. You don’t have to imagine it – it is real and will happen March 19 -20, 2020 at the Rockland Community College Athletic Center and you can be a part of it. Click here for event information.

FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) was founded by inventor Dean Kamen in 1989 and is the world’s leading youth serving nonprofit advancing science, technology, engineering, and math. This program inspires students in grades K -12 worldwide while teaching leadership by engaging them in hands-on robotics challenges. FIRST LEGO League Jr. is for grade K-4, FIRST LEGO League is Grades 4- 8, and FIRST Tech Challenge covers grades 7 -12, while the FIRST Robotics Competition is grade 9 -12.

The program is supported by corporations, educational and professional institutions and individuals who provide mentorship time and talent, equipment, and funding. Participation in FIRST is proven to encourage students to pursue education and careers in STEM-related fields. They develop self-confidence in STEM and real-world skills that can lead to careers in STEM related fields and more. High school participants are also eligible to apply for more than $80 million in scholarships to participating colleges and universities.

Working with professional Mentors participants design and build a robot, and compete in high-intensity events that reward the effectiveness of each robot, the power of team strategy and collaboration, and the determination of students. The competition teams create powerful mentoring relationships between the students and professional mentors, many of which are engineers and other professionals. The event starts with a Kickoff event that unveils a new, exciting, and challenging game. From the Kickoff, teams have limited time to build and program a robot to compete in the game using a kit of parts provided by FIRST and a standard set of rules. This year’s theme focuses on renewable sources of energy and is titled INFINITE RECHARGE.

Perhaps the program has achieved such amazing results because FIRST is known for Gracious Professionalism and Coopertition. If you haven’t heard these terms before – “Gracious Professionalism is a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community. With Gracious Professionalism, fierce competition and mutual gain are not separate notions. Gracious professionals learn and compete like crazy, but treat one another with respect and kindness in the process.” And at FIRST, Coopertition is “displaying unqualified kindness and respect in the face of fierce competition.” Coopertition is founded on the concept and a philosophy that teams can and should help and cooperate with each other even as they compete. Coopertition involves learning from teammates. It is teaching teammates. It is learning from Mentors. And it is managing and being managed. Coopertition means competing always, but assisting and enabling others when you can.

Last year nearly 100,000 high school students on 3,940 FIRST Robotics Competition teams took part in 100 district events, 11 District Championships, and 62 Regional Events (in the U.S., Australia, Canada, Israel, Mexico, and Turkey), and the FIRST Championship. Teams are comprised of professional mentors and 10 or more student members in grades 9-12. In addition, each FIRST team has one or more sponsors. Those sponsors include companies, universities, or professional organizations that donate their time, talent, funds, equipment, and much more to the team effort.

FIRST is a volunteer driven organization with more than 255,000 volunteer roles filled in the 2017-18 season. There are several FIRST programs in the Hudson Valley and opportunities for anyone reading this to become a volunteer. Many of the technical roles may require some experience and training but there are opportunities for safety advisors, field set-up, field re-set and similar tasks that can be a good fit for a first-time technical volunteer. Interested volunteers can visit the FIRST Inspires website HERE for more information about how to become a mentor, coach, or event volunteer.

Your company can also support the Regional Competition by participating in the College and Career Fair planned for the first day of the competition, March 19, 2020.  Your participation will highlight the many career options open to these highly motivated students in manufacturing.

For more information visit the FIRST Inspire website HERE.

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FIRST Robotics Will Hold a Regional Competition at Rockland Community College

Imagine a competition where teams excited, technology-driven high school students compete head to head with robots they have designed, built and programmed themselves. Imagine hundreds of such teams competing in the Hudson Valley over a single weekend for the chance to advance to compete in front of 70,000 people in April at the FIRST Championship in Houston and again in May in Detroit. You don’t have to imagine it – it is real and will happen March 19 -20, 2020 at the Rockland Community College Athletic Center and you can be a part of it. Click here for event information.

FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) was founded by inventor Dean Kamen in 1989 and is the world’s leading youth serving nonprofit advancing science, technology, engineering, and math. This program inspires students in grades K -12 worldwide while teaching leadership by engaging them in hands-on robotics challenges. FIRST LEGO League Jr. is for grade K-4, FIRST LEGO League is Grades 4- 8, and FIRST Tech Challenge covers grades 7 -12, while the FIRST Robotics Competition is grade 9 -12.

The program is supported by corporations, educational and professional institutions and individuals who provide mentorship time and talent, equipment, and funding. Participation in FIRST is proven to encourage students to pursue education and careers in STEM-related fields. They develop self-confidence in STEM and real-world skills that can lead to careers in STEM related fields and more. High school participants are also eligible to apply for more than $80 million in scholarships to participating colleges and universities.

Working with professional Mentors participants design and build a robot, and compete in high-intensity events that reward the effectiveness of each robot, the power of team strategy and collaboration, and the determination of students. The competition teams create powerful mentoring relationships between the students and professional mentors, many of which are engineers and other professionals. The event starts with a Kickoff event that unveils a new, exciting, and challenging game. From the Kickoff, teams have limited time to build and program a robot to compete in the game using a kit of parts provided by FIRST and a standard set of rules. This year’s theme focuses on renewable sources of energy and is titled INFINITE RECHARGE.

Perhaps the program has achieved such amazing results because FIRST is known for Gracious Professionalism and Coopertition. If you haven’t heard these terms before – “Gracious Professionalism is a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community. With Gracious Professionalism, fierce competition and mutual gain are not separate notions. Gracious professionals learn and compete like crazy, but treat one another with respect and kindness in the process.” And at FIRST, Coopertition is “displaying unqualified kindness and respect in the face of fierce competition.” Coopertition is founded on the concept and a philosophy that teams can and should help and cooperate with each other even as they compete. Coopertition involves learning from teammates. It is teaching teammates. It is learning from Mentors. And it is managing and being managed. Coopertition means competing always, but assisting and enabling others when you can.

Last year nearly 100,000 high school students on 3,940 FIRST Robotics Competition teams took part in 100 district events, 11 District Championships, and 62 Regional Events (in the U.S., Australia, Canada, Israel, Mexico, and Turkey), and the FIRST Championship. Teams are comprised of professional mentors and 10 or more student members in grades 9-12. In addition, each FIRST team has one or more sponsors. Those sponsors include companies, universities, or professional organizations that donate their time, talent, funds, equipment, and much more to the team effort.

FIRST is a volunteer driven organization with more than 255,000 volunteer roles filled in the 2017-18 season. There are several FIRST programs in the Hudson Valley and opportunities for anyone reading this to become a volunteer. Many of the technical roles may require some experience and training but there are opportunities for safety advisors, field set-up, field re-set and similar tasks that can be a good fit for a first-time technical volunteer. Interested volunteers can visit the FIRST Inspires website at http://www.firstinspires.org/ways-to-help/volunteer for more information about how to become a mentor, coach, or event volunteer.

Your company can also support the Regional Competition by participating in the College and Career Fair planned for the first day of the competition, March 19, 2020.  Your participation will highlight the many career options open to these highly motivated students in manufacturing.

For more information visit the FIRST Inspire website https://www.firstinspires.org/

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Episode 2: Pine Bush High School, Integrating Education and Career Readiness at the Highest Level

 

The Council of Industry recently launched a podcast! In this episode Harold King from the Council of Industry interviews Aaron Hopmayer, Principal of Pine Bush High School.

Episode 2:Pine Bush High School, Integrating Education and Career Readiness at the Highest Level

Aaron Hopmayer, affectionately known as “HOP” talked about Pine Bush High School’s success in integrating STEAM into all disciplines and the booming enrollment in their summer enrichment academies (including their newest summer academy for Advanced Manufacturing).

You can learn more about Pine Bush’s Summer Enrichment Academies here:
STEM Academy
Advanced Manufacturing Academy

Hop shares his experience overcoming obstacles, building engagement and generally doing whatever it takes because “its good for kids”. Pine Bush High School will also be hosting an Advanced Manufacturing and STEAM Careers Night on October 2nd from 5pm – 8:30pm designed for students with interests ranging from entry level positions to Engineers. All are welcome for an opportunity to meet with local manufacturers, colleges and trade schools. There will also be a chance to tour Pine Bush High School’s Innovation Center and Fabrication Labs.

For more information on Pine Bush High School’s 2019 Manufacturing Day contact Aaron Hopmayer at: (845) 744-2031 ext. 3601

Aaron Hopmayer was also featured as the Leadership Profile in the Spring 2018 issue of HV Mfg Magazine

For more Council of Industry podcasts follow our SoundCloud station here.

You can also listen to Episode 1: MPI, At the intersection of manufacturing, innovation and family business here. In this episode Harold King and Johnnieanne Hansen from the Council of Industry interview Bruce and Aaron Phipps of Poughkeepsie based manufacturing company, MPI. Bruce and Aaron Phipps talk about what its like to grow up in a family owned business and now work together as contemporaries tackling the challenges and celebrating the successes with their MPI family.

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Meet Peter – Apprentice at Sono-Tek

 

Meet Peter, a CNC Machinist at Sono-Tek Corporation in Milton, NY for the past 2 years. Sono-Tek currently has two apprentices in the Council of Industry’s Registered Apprentice Program; Elaine, an apprentice registered under the Industrial Manufacturing Technician (IMT) trade (you can read more about Elaine’s story here), and Peter who is registered as a CNC Machinist. Sono-Tek has been the leader in ultrasonic coating solutions for over 35 years, supplying equipment to a variety of industries worldwide, including medical, textiles, glass, electronics and food processing. Peter’s responsibilities at Sono-Tek vary but he spends the majority of his time setting up the CNC machines with the appropriate tooling and cutting parameters.

Peter grew up in Salt Point, NY and attended Ketcham High School. While in school Peter began to develop an interest in IT. After graduation he attended Ridley Lowell – a business, technical and trade school located in Poughkeepsie, NY before its closure in early 2018. Through the connections he made at Ridley Lowell he found his first position in the manufacturing industry at an optics company in Irvington, NY.

Peter first gained experience with CNC machines during the 3 years he spent in his previous job. His position required the operation of lathes machines with diamond turning. Peter explained to us that diamond turning is a much simpler process than what’s required of him in his current position, but it helped him gain the basic skills he needed to be successful at Sono-Tek.

When Peter realized that his work was no longer challenging, he began looking for a position where he could utilize his new skills, and that’s when he found Sono-Tek. He told us, “This position has offered me a chance to continue leaning and growing within the manufacturing industry.” He also said that he’s learned a lot so far including the set-up of over 20 different tools. The apprentice program has even given him the opportunity to gain some experience in programming to satisfy his continued interest in IT.

Peter joined the Council of Industry’s Registered Apprentice Program in February as a CNC Machinist trade after the opportunity was offered to him by his supervisor. He told us that the chance to gain more knowledge and strengthen his skills was what initially attracted him to the program. Peter told us that so far he’s not only sharpened his knowledge of CNC, he’s also gotten to explore and learn from other departments as a result of being in the program. The apprentice program has continued to expose him to different departments and opportunities to learn while on the job.

The Apprentice Program requires a combination of both on-the-job training and related instruction hours. On-the-job training needs the presence of a journey-level worker to guide and instruct the apprentice while at work. Related Instruction hours can be achieved through a variety of platforms. Each registered apprentice receives a free subscription to Tooling-U an online learning platform designed specifically for the manufacturing industry.

Opportunities for related instruction are also available at local community colleges. As a result of the SUNY Apprenticeship grant, SUNY Ulster offers registered apprentices up to $5,000 worth of trade related courses for free. Many companies, like Sono-Tek for example, provide regular on-site training to employees that can also count towards an apprentice’s related instruction hours.

Sono-Tek has been incredibly supportive of both the Council of Industry and the apprentice program. The continued dedication of Vince Whipple and Ed Bozydaj has helped make the program a reality for Sono-Tek employees. “Companies like Sono-Tek are the reason programs like this are successful, they are always looking for meaningful ways to support their employees and remain ahead of the curve” said Johnnieanne Hansen, Director of Workforce Development at the Council of Industry.

If you are a manufacturing employer or a potential apprentice click here for more information or contact Johnnieanne Hansen at (845) 565-1355 or jhansen@councilofindustry.org to discuss details, requirements and potential opportunities.

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Future Manufacturers in the Making

It seems our efforts to share manufacturing career opportunities are beginning to bear fruit. From articles in HV Mfg magazine to the GoMakeIt.org website and its videos highlighting people working in manufacturing to our support of the Hudson Valley Pathways Academy and more educators from across the region are increasingly turning to us to help them connect with the manufacturing sector and the great careers we have.

At schools throughout the Hudson Valley students are increasingly being exposed to the amazing career choices available to them through the manufacturing sector. Council of Industry member companies have been at career fairs and featured prominently in the end of year presentations made at the PTech Program.

Ulster BOCES Hudson Valley Pathways Academy students presented their final projects of the year to an audience of educators, industry leaders, and family members on May 29 at the Ulster BOCES Center for Innovative Teaching & Learning at Anna Devine. The young scholars demonstrated the work they did this past year which included several projects with Council of Industry member companies. The students also reviewed their positive growth and chose a word that described what their hopes were for the year. Positivity, self-confidence, and persistence were popular themes among many of the students. Congratulations to all on a very successful year!

On June 4, the Cornwall Central Middle School hosted a great career exploration event. The students were engaged with a diverse field of employers. The Council of Industry was well represented by members Ametek Rotron and Global Foundries, both of which demonstrated a variety of career paths available in manufacturing.

At the end of May, Valley Central High School hosted a job fair that included Council member Mechanical Rubber Products. This was a schoolwide event that included not only potential career opportunities but summer job offerings too.

There is ever increasing interest in the career paths available in the industrial sector nationwide. The Council of Industry has made it a priority to connect manufacturers with the local schools in an effort to promote the fantastic job opportunities available in manufacturing and various ways to navigate the journey. There is something there for every type of student. If your company would like to be a part of future events contact us.

The Ametek Rotron booth at the Cornwall Middle School Career Fair

For more information for students on careers in manufacturing click here

Some videos about manufacturing careers from around the Hudson Valley

This is Manufacturing

GMI Tool and Die Maker

Meet Mike – Engineering Tech at eMagin

Go Make It YouTube Channel

 

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Join Us for HV Manufacturing Career Exploration Night on October 4

On October 4th we will be partnering with Pine Bush High School for the first annual Manufacturing Career Night.

We are inviting HV Manufacturers to register for an exhibitor booth to help inform students and parents about manufacturing jobs in the Hudson Valley.

Participating companies will have the opportunity to connect with over 150 students, their parents, and educators and discuss current and potential jobs including internships, part-time employment, and apprenticeships.

We expect over 150 students and parents to attend plus students from school districts throughout the Hudson Valley.

Join The Council of Industry and Hudson Valley Manufacturers to:

  • Help increase Manufacturing Awareness’ with Parents, Students, Teachers and Administrators
  • Connect with students to promote current and future jobs including possible internships, summer jobs, apprenticeships and long-term career opportunities.
  • Visit and tour Pine Bush High School’s manufacturing/engineering classrooms, check out their projects that have gained national recognition and meet the students enrolled in these programs.
  • Support High School Principal, Aaron Hopmayeras he continues to advocate for Manufacturing and skilled trade education through project-based learning and the launch of an SME Prime High School – designed to customize a curriculum to cultivate employees for local Manufacturing employers.
  • Capitalize on the marketing and advocacy initiatives of this high-profile event including radio, digital and educator publicity.

Participating Companies To Date:

Pratt & Whitney, Aerospace Company – Middletown, NY 

Allendale Machine Systems, Machine Tool Distributor of HAAS equipment – Allendale, NJ

Lloydz Motor Workz, Performance Parts to Riders of Victory and Indian Motorcycles, Pine Bush, NY

Ametek Rotron, Military & Aerospace Products – Woodstock, NY 

Fala Technologies, Industrial Equipment Manufacturing, Semiconductor & Green Energy – Kingston, NY

Nexans, Advanced Cabling and Connectivity Solutions – Chester, NY

LoDolce Machine, Manufacturing Parts and Components for Military, Transportation and Computers – Saugerties, NY

Stanfordville Machines, Precision CNC Machining – Poughkeepsie, NY 

Thompkins Mahopac Bank, Associate Member and Supporter of Mfg Workforce Initiatives 

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7 Things You Can Do to Make Your Event a Success

Students at Mfg Day

From MfgDay.com

How can you make sure your Manufacturing Day event is a success? One of the most important things to do is to establish a connection with your guests. Those few hours you spend with them are your chance to communicate the importance of what you do — and the creativity, advanced skills and technology required to do it. Ideally, your passion will spark something similar in the young people who you introduce to manufacturing, inspiring them to learn more about the industry and one day join the manufacturing team.

Follow these seven rules of thumb to improve your chances of connecting with your guests and inspire the next generation of modern manufacturers.

1. Don’t assume visitors know anything about manufacturing.

In planning a good tour — especially when the intended audience members are primarily people with no manufacturing background — you have to start by creating a story of your company that anyone could understand.
  • How did your company get started?
  • What do you make? Who buys your products?
  • What do they do with them?
Keep explanations simple and free of industry jargon. Think storytelling with illustrations rather than textbooks packed with pages of small print.

2. You can’t show everything.

The quickest way to lose the interest of your visitors is to try to show every bit of minutiae. Pick a few stops that represent key stages in the production process and allow you to demonstrate the progress a product makes through the shop.
  • What are the best places in the plant to give an overview of the production process and highlight the work of your people and machinery?
  • Where will visitors get the best view? Can they hear you?
  • Which of your team members are the most enthusiastic about their work and comfortable explaining what they do and why it is important to the process and the company?
These considerations should guide you in planning the tour.

3. Create a display and offer hands-on experiences.

Of course you can’t allow visitors to get up close and personal with your machinery, but you could create a display that illustrates what a product looks like in various stages of completion, where they could be allowed to pick up and hold something they’ve seen made.
Maybe you even have something that one of your machines can make that they could take with them as a souvenir? (This doesn’t mean one of your production parts or finished products!)

4. Clean up before your visitors arrive.

No clutter, everything in its place, floors swept clean, a path through the shop is easy to follow.
Remember that part of the reason to invite visitors to Manufacturing Day events is to prove that manufacturing facilities are great places to work. First impressions count: What does your company look like as visitors approach from the parking lot? Let’s dispel the myths that manufacturing is dark, dirty and dangerous.
 
Also, make sure employees are dressed neat and clean on tour day and if they have a role to play in explaining things to your visitors, they should be wearing a name badge so that they can be addressed by name when there are questions.

5. Cater to student visitors.

Students are the workforce of the future. This is your opportunity to provide advice about the kinds of careers that your company offers, the type of training and educational coursework you seek when hiring employees. There is no better time to offer comments about opportunities available to dedicated workers with a professional attitude. If there are specific kinds of training or skills that you need and find it hard to hire for, let them know.

6. Put up a welcome sign.

This is important both literally and figuratively. Put a sign on the door, shake hands with visitors, thank them for coming, and demonstrate your enthusiasm for the opportunity you have to share your company’s information with them.

7. Send invitations.

Manufacturing Day is a national celebration of the 12 million talented men and women who work in the industry. Who could you invite to share this celebration with you? Here are some ideas:
  • The families of your employees. If family events aren’t a common occurrence at your company, this is a perfect day to invite families to come and see where their family member works and learn what they do. Maybe you could do a special event just for family members at the end of the workday.
  • Your elected officials. Ever complain about the fact that your elected officials (local, state, federal) don’t make good choices as related to manufacturing? Invite them to come to your plant and see for themselves. Remember: Most elected officials have never set foot inside a manufacturing facility, which means you can educate them!
  • Potential customers. Give these folks a reason to want to do business with you. Invite them in on a day when they can see how great your organization is.
  • Current customers. Make Manufacturing Day your customer appreciation day. Your business service providers. When was the last time you were visited by your banker, insurance agent or accountant?
  • Media. Is there a local reporter who seems to have a serious interest in manufacturing? Invite them to visit your plant on Manufacturing Day. They are always looking for interesting stories to tell. Why not make it yours?
  • Youth organizations. Are you active in, or do you know someone who is active in the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts or a similar youth organization? Invite them to visit your company as a field trip. Better yet, invite a school group.

More Resources for Making Your MFG Day Event a Success

Creating a successful MFG Day event is hard work and requires careful planning. To help, The Manufacturing Institute and the National Association of Manufacturers have assembled some useful resources for MFG Day event hosts, which we encourage you to download for more tips on how to make your MFG Day event a success:

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Bring Back Vocational Training

We’re all aware of the unfortunate manufacturing skills gap, which has developed in part as a result of the “college-for-everyone” mentality. The search for qualified and experienced employees has been a struggle in recent years as the workforce nears retirement age and fewer young adults are pursing vocational career paths. A major contributing factor to this issue has been the elimination of vocational training in high schools.

The United States education system has been slowly removing vocational training from high schools since the 1960s. High school curriculum is now much more focused on preparing students for college. However, even with this push for students to receive a higher education, the statistics aren’t promising. About 68% of high school students attend college in the United States, but nearly 40% of those students who go to a four-year school don’t complete the program.

Bringing back vocational training would help expose these students to other options outside of college. We’re doing a disservice to these young adults by not educating them on alternative career paths. Bringing back vocational training would be beneficial to high school students and the entire manufacturing industry at large.

However, many high schools have begun recognizing this need and searching for ways to diversify the curriculum. Pine Bush High School, right here in Upstate New York, has been actively preparing students for careers in various fields. Principal Aaron Hopmayer has initiated several programs that teach students vocational skills. Most recently he’s leading an effort to develop a PRIME program (Partner Response in Manufacturing Education) at the high school.

If you’d like to read more about the need to bring back vocational training in schools, you can find the full article here.

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There’s Gold in the Hills of the Hudson Valley

How Partnering with Education Institutions can Help Identify your Future Workforce

By Guest Blogger Stephen Casa

As I travel around the Hudson Valley meeting with various leaders in industry, I hear the same concern, “We can’t find enough qualified employees to fill the positions that are being left vacant by retirement, innovation, etc.” This is where a value added strategy can benefit employers: developing collaborative partnerships with education.

The value proposition is simple, participate with an educational institution in one of the following ways: content area consulting, curriculum development, field trip provision, guest speaking, mentoring students, job shadowing, providing externship opportunities for educators, providing internships (compensated and non-compensated) for students who demonstrate readiness, sit on advisory boards, etc. All of these opportunities will allow the education institution to provide you with a glimpse of your potential workforce and it will create an opportunity for young people to learn about your business/industry. They will also be trained in your culture. Often these partnerships lead to long term employment, initially they get you what you need, prepared, employable, entry level employees.

Don’t hesitate to act, contact your local BOCES today and ask how you can be a part of the solution.

Stay connected as I will be contributing regularly with more specific instructions for engagement.

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The Potential of Augmented Reality to Reshape Worker Training

Could augmented reality, or AR, be the way forward for the manufacturing workforce? The problems manufacturing faces with building a skilled workforce have been well documented. New workers coming into the plant are faced with having to adapt to a new work environment of collaborative robots and machine learning-driven applications. At the same time, they have to maintain, or in some cases re-learn, the legacy knowledge that is being lost as older generations exit the workforce. Can AR, an interactive experience of a real-world environment whose elements are “augmented” by computer-generated perceptual information, solve that problem?

Plenty of companies, from large entities like Microsoft to smaller companies and even startups, are pointing AR toward the challenge of worker training. In theory, it could allow trainees an up close look at incredibly complicated machines, and give them an opportunity to work with them in a way that simulates the experience far more effectively than a traditional classroom could, while also keeping them from having to operate the real thing before they are ready. The technology though is still new, and until its is more refined there are reasons to be skeptical of how effectively it could replicate the experience.

Learn More about what people are saying

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