If you’ve been following Fremont’s first FUSE Corps Executive Fellow, Parker Thomas’ journey, you know that the mission of his one-year fellowship is to create a “human resource pipeline for advanced manufacturing.” After 105 interviews, Parker has gathered the elements that we must prioritize in order to prepare students for jobs in advanced manufacturing: STEM skills, the capacity to solve new problems experimentally, and awareness of manufacturing jobs as a viable path to a good life.

Fremont’s partnership with FUSE Corps to plant the “manufacturing seed” at an early age has garnered national attention and was recently featured in U.S. News & World Report.

We are not surprised by this attention given the role that advanced manufacturing plays in the U.S. economy, and the tremendous gap in skilled labor, documented in a study by Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute.  Fremont is a near-perfect microcosm of the talent shortage challenge. With more than 900 manufacturing firms — including Tesla Motors, Solar City and KUKA Robotics —one in every four jobs in the City relates to manufacturing, and they are all searching for talent.

Advanced manufacturing calls for a specialized talent pool, and the nurturing duty can’t fall on a single entity’s shoulders. It takes a coordinated effort from educators, city government, non-profit organizations, industry partners and community members to engage and prepare kids for this career path.

Parker’s continued efforts to unlock the capacity of the Fremont community to support learning in new and innovative ways are being documented in a series of blog posts at Fremont Learning Network. Check it out for insights and latest information.