Align education pathways with needed job skills

Eric Roe always felt that he would stay in the field he loved: manufacturing.

Beginning his career at Tropicana and attending evening community college for advanced degrees, he envisioned a meaningful career in his chosen field. Roe had dropped out of college to extract juice samples at a Tropicana factory as part of his research and development team. He then went on to obtain his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of South Florida.

But it seems as if fate had a different course for him. The opportunity to work with the University of South Florida and a couple of community colleges to develop workforce strategies was too tempting to pass up.

“I have a unique perspective in that I come from manufacturing and also spent years in education for higher degrees, so I was the link between the two sectors,” said Roe, whose current role is Dean of the Faculty of Professional Studies. in National University. “This led the task force to understand that we need to create clear, unified pathways for developing the skills workers need for their careers.”

Roe founded the statewide Florida Manufacturing Talent Development Institute. At the time, he was the director of applied technology at Polk State College. He also created one of the first competency-based public degree programs, which transformed a traditional engineering technology course of study into a competency-based open-entry/early-exit program.

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