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Employees engaged for shift to ‘Industry 4.0’


Snider takes the stage during an open session for campus employees.
Snider takes the stage during an open session for campus employees.
The speaker points to New Kensington's collaborative approach as a workable revitalization model for the Penn College community.
The speaker points to New Kensington’s collaborative approach as a workable revitalization model for the Penn College community.

The chancellor of Penn State New Kensington addressed Penn College faculty and staff Thursday morning, championing education’s role – in partnership with the greater community, business and industry, and local and regional government – in developing a skilled workforce for the fourth industrial revolution. Kevin J.G. Snider enlisted his campuswide audience to replicate the success of New Kensington’s “Nextovation” program in meeting the needs and challenges of “Industry 4.0,” the next step in history’s march from mechanization to mass production to automation and computerization. Taking a multi-sector approach to the transformation of a Rust Belt community to the digital age, Snider’s “small campus with a big idea” launched a number of initiatives: a Corridor of Innovation, revitalizing a five-block area with small businesses, green space, bike racks and other civic improvements; “The Corner,” a Penn State-assisted center for entrepreneurial learning, collaborative work environments and community activity; a state-of-the-art digital makerspace; and ongoing workforce development to “prepare students for a world that most people don’t know exists yet.” Snider and his team (Joseph Cuiffi, assistant teaching professor and program coordinator of electromechanical engineering technology; Stephen B. Leonard, an industry-based innovation manager; and Patricia Hollinger, director of continuing education) toured Penn College on Wednesday, emerging with nothing but praise for President Davie Jane Gilmour, the employees and students with whom they met, and the instructional facilities that they explored. “It’s an amazing, amazing place,” Snider told the morning assembly in the Klump Academic Center Auditorium.

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