Potomac Photonics, Inc. Partners with Owings Mills [Maryland] High School
in Free P-Tech Advanced Manufacturing Workforce Training Program
Baltimore, MD; March 1, 2022: Potomac Photonics, Inc., a worldwide leader in advanced manufacturing, is pleased to announce our participation in the Owing Mills [Maryland] High School Pathways in Technology Early College [P-Tech] program as an industry partner. As part of the immersive 4 to 6-year learning experience, Potomac will hire students as interns in our smart factory, providing an opportunity to apply their skills to real-world work in precision fabrication for the biotech, medical device, microfluidics, micro-electronics, and aerospace industries.
Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS), the Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC), and industry partners Becton Dickinson, McCormick Inc., North American Millwright, Direct Dimensions, Strategic Factory, and Potomac will work to provide each P-TECH student, starting in Grade 9, with academic and technical experience, guided by a mentor. The student can then complete their high school diploma as well as an Associates of Applied Science Degree in Design, Fabrication, and Advanced Manufacturing within six years. Most importantly, this program is free to students who are within the Owings Mills High School district.
The P-Tech program was developed by IBM under the leadership of former CEO Ginni Rometty who believes blue collar jobs have become digital New Collar jobs that often don’t require a college degree. But these career paths to engaging, well-paying jobs do require specific skills which can be started at the high school level. In a CNBC interview, Ms. Rometty explained that employers are missing out on skilled workers who don’t follow a traditional college path in STEM. “As an employer, you have to open up the pathways to bring people in that may have gotten a skill and not through a four-year degree.”
Alternative pathways like P-Tech consequently increase diversity in the workplace since costs are substantially less than college and offer more flexibility for today’s non-traditional student. In a time when hiring skilled staff is a challenge for all companies, creativity in workforce training is essential to keep competitive advantage in the global marketplace.
“Today, sophisticated tools on our factory floor like 3D Printers, CNC and laser micro-machining workstations, CAD Design software, bonding equipment, and automated quality control, do not take a Ph.D. to operate,” explains Potomac President and CEO Mike Adelstein. “The kind of hands-on training in the P-Tech program along with on-the-job experience with real customers provides much more than skills with advanced manufacturing tools. The program’s structure also immerses the student in the world of work where essential skills like critical thinking and problem-solving are honed. Potomac’s fast growth requires a steady supply of new workers, and we expect that our investment in P-Tech students will be a great partnership for our company’s future.”