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Last month, Foxconn held their groundbreaking celebration — and what a spectacular show it was. Like most everyone who walked through the Foxconn Opus Facility, I was amazed, inspired and proud to have opportunities in high technology jobs in our community.

For months, Gateway students have been preparing for jobs and careers in advanced manufacturing and information technology in support of Foxconn. The Foxconn assembly line was filled with proud professionals busy building high definition televisions, many who were trained at Gateway. While guest speakers talked about artificial intelligence and the demonstrations included autonomous driving vehicles, it all still comes down to the people doing the job.

Ajay Rajadhyaksha, director of Macro Research in New York, describes the rapid advances in technology as the “confluence of three powerful tech-driven events: the rapid digitization of the economy, the plummeting cost of storing data and the explosion of more powerful computing power.”

This convergence of technology is the core of what Gateway’s new academic programming is designed around. The Industrial Internet of Things, Cyber Security and Supply Chain Management are just a few examples of the knowledge and skills that Foxconn – and all advanced manufacturing companies – are looking for in their workers.

As technology continues to impact the workforce skills needed by local employers, I am confident that Gateway is ready to support all students as they prepare for great careers right here in Racine County.

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Bryan Albrecht is president and CEO of Gateway Technical College.

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