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Education and Workforce Development

The AIM Photonics West Coast Headquarters at UC Santa Barbara is leading the implementation of Education and Workforce Development initiatives in the State of California in partnership with UCSB’s Center for Science and Engineering Partnerships (CSEP), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), SUNY Polytechnic (SUNY) and the University of Arizona (UA).  Regional partners include K-12 schools and teachers for community engagement activities in Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties. Training programs are in collaboration with university and local community college partners Allan Hancock College, Oxnard College, Santa Barbara City College and Ventura College.

Currently, we are hosting two initiatives that include a national workforce needs study and research and professional skills training program described below. 

West Coast Headquarters 2017 Workforce Development Projects

  • A second-stage yearlong 2017 Workforce Needs Assessment Study is focused on regional industry needs, which includes the states of California, Massachusetts and New York. This state-focused study will serve to effectively connect AIM Photonics with regional companies and academic institutes through a better understanding of the workforce needs of employers in the region. Three AIM Photonics academic partners, including UCSB (CA), MIT (MA) and RIT (NY),  will conduct a qualitative study (in-depth interviews) focusing on creating a coast-to-coast needs assessment regional and countrywide analyses. The CA regional project will focus on Silicon Valley and the Central Coast.

The stage one 2016 Workforce Needs Assessment Report is available now at the MIT AIM Photonics Academy website.

  • The Future Leaders in Integrated Photonics Research and Professional Skills Training Program (Future Leaders) will provide undergraduate students with technical training that is at the intersection of academic R&D and industrial manufacturing, including tailored professional training and career mentoring.  With the current focus of AIM Photonics on training and career development at the Masters and PhD level, Future Leaders will enhance the impact of the AIM Photonics network and provide a pathway for the development of a future workforce in integrated photonics.  Training sites include UCSB (CA), MIT (MA), RIT (NY) and UA (AZ).  Future Leaders will also serve as a model for other similar R-1 institutions within the AIM Photonics network, and more broadly those within the Manufacturing USA initiative. 

To learn more about the Future Leaders program, please visit our West Coast Headquarters Undergraduate Research Internships page.