You’ve probably been hearing a lot about the Southwestern PA BotsIQ competition. We’ve been sending out information and so have many other organizations, educators and companies. You’re hearing a lot about it, because it’s a big deal– for young people in the region as well as manufacturers.
Faced with a shortage of qualified workers to fill positions in the manufacturing industry and a workforce that was getting older, a small committed group of representatives from manufacturing and education brought this idea to Pittsburgh nearly a decade ago. What if we supply young people with the tools and know-how to build something great– something cool? What if we show them that building things is not only cool, but also a potential career path? That first year, 6 schools competed in this robot-building competition. The rest, as they say, is history.
Now, in its ninth year, there are more than 50 schools and 800 students competing. Even more exciting, they are getting our message: Manufacturing careers are both personally and financially rewarding and an important segment of our economy. In a recent survey, more than 82 percent of the responding students stated that their first choice for a career path is manufacturing or a STEM-related profession. These results indicate that the BotsIQ program is working.
The NTMA is proud to be part of this tremendous workforce development program. If you haven’t been out to a competition, we hope you’ll come witness it first hand this Friday and Saturday at California University of Pennsylvania’s Convocation Center. But if you can’t make it, we hope you’ll take a few minutes to tune in to the live feed of the competition. Check it out on your computer, tablet or smart phone, just by following this link:
(Friday’s battles begin after 9:30 AM and Saturday after 9:00 AM)
Then, when you’re inspired to get involved, check out the BotsIQ website: http://www.botsiqpa.org/
There’s always a need for industry advisors, sponsors and volunteers. Be part of something that is truly making a difference– in our industry and in the lives of young people in Southwestern Pennsylvania.