Panel Discussion 
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Apprenticeships / skilled workforce development

Closing the skills gap ... creating the next generation of makers


Panel Discussion
Wednesday, Nov. 6 Location Code
2:15pm-3:15pm Toronto, West Tower, Ballroom Level WS/33

Come and explore the ways businesses are closing the growing skills gap while creating opportunities for the next generation of makers by offering apprenticeships and workforce development program for success in the 4.0 Industrial Revolution.


Skills, not college pedigree, will be what matters for the future workforce. Most of these jobs are entry-level requiring a high school diploma, a foundation of math and science along with some additional training offered by an apprenticeship/certification and other workforce development programs. Advanced manufacturing and technology companies are turning to apprenticeships and certification programs for students while in high school and continuing on within companies to keep developing and sustaining a skilled workforce for life. Learn from these leaders of the benchmark programs for developing and then deploying best practices to grow the next generation of makers and lean leaders Alamo Academies, Ingersoll Rand and Newport News Shipbuilding Apprentice School.


Alamo Academies is a national award-winning, innovative, science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) based model partnering with industry, Alamo Colleges, high schools and municipalities providing area high school students with a solid foundation to pursue careers in aerospace, information technology, advanced manufacturing, and other career paths.

Ingersoll Rand provides their employees with the tools they need to master skills, collaborate, deal with conflict and solve problems as a team. Ingersoll Rand inspire STEM education experiences to fulfill technical workforce needs of the future. The business operating system fuses employee engagement around customer needs with the commitment to practice, rigor and perseverance that make success possible.

Newport News Shipbuilding Apprentice School offers four- to eight-year, tuition-free apprenticeships in 19 trades and eight optional advanced programs. Apprentices work a 40-hour week and are paid for all work, including time spent in academic classes. The Apprentice School's academic program provides the opportunity to earn associate degrees in business administration, engineering and engineering technology and bachelor's degrees in mechanical or electrical engineering to become the next generation of shipbuilders.

Panelists: Tara Beck / Latitia McCane / Katherine Sanchez-Rocha

Tara Beck is currently the senior manager of Skilled Workforce Development for Ingersoll Rand. She focuses her time on creating programs to help close the skills gap in their manufacturing plants. Prior to this role, she worked in multiple fields including healthcare, supply chain operations, non-profit fundraising, college athletics and talent acquisition. This diverse background has given her a strong foundation in understanding the skills gap from different perspectives. Beck holds a BSc. degree from Michigan State University and an MSc. degree from Northern Illinois University. 

Latitia D. McCane is the director of education for the Apprentice School at Newport News Shipbuilding. She is responsible for the overall leadership, vision and strategic direction of craft training, academic delivery, student services, accreditation and recruitment for the school, which provides high quality, comprehensive four-to eight-year apprentice programs for approximately 800 students. Since 1919, the school has produced more than 10,000 graduates. It will celebrate its 100th anniversary next year. McCane earned doctoral degrees in urban higher education administration and education administration from Jackson State University and Lacrosse University, respectively.

Katherine Sanchez-Rocha joined the Alamo Academies team in February 2015. She previously worked as a field representative and caseworker for Congressman Will Hurd in the San Antonio Regional Office. Prior to joining Congressman Hurd’s staff, she worked on his campaign as the campaign’s office manager, scheduler and finance director. She has worked in both the healthcare and education arenas. While in education she was as a liaison between the educational institution, community entities and the military installations in the San Antonio Area. She serves on the board for Bexar County Family Justice Center, NEISD School Health Advisory Council, San Antonio Manufacturer’s Association and the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce to empower others.