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The New Collar Workforce

Author: Sarah Boisvert

An Insider's Guide to Making Impactful Change in Manufacturing and Training

NEW from Photonics Media Press!

Transformation is underway in the modern factory and new options exist for training digital factory workers. The New Collar Workforce is a guide to these changes for people working in

  • production management,
  • human resources,
  • economic development and
  • education.

U.S. manufacturing companies are expected to face a shortage of 2 million skilled workers by the year 2020, according to reports. As a result, manufacturers and educators everywhere are looking for real, actionable ideas to train workers, reduce the shortfall and realize the potential of the new age of manufacturing that is upon us.

Author Sarah Boisvert is a co-founder of the commercial division of Potomac Photonics Inc. of Baltimore, Md., where she worked to commercialize a proprietary RF-discharge excimer laser. She currently serves as the company’s chief 3D printing officer.

At the core of this very timely and easy-to-read book is the undeniable passion the author has for the subject – it is one she has lived and breathed for many years – and the results of her survey of the worker needs U.S. manufacturers are facing, an effort that was supported in part by a contribution from the Verizon Foundation.

The “new collar” workers that manufacturers seek have the digital skills needed to “run automation and software, design in CAD, program sensors, maintain robots, repair 3D printers, and collect and analyze data,” according to the author. Educational systems must evolve to supply Industry 4.0 with new collar workers, and this book leads the reader to innovative organizations that are recreating training programs for a new age in manufacturing.

The author’s call to action is clear: “We live in a time of extraordinary opportunity to look to the future and fundamentally change manufacturing jobs but also to show people the value in new collar jobs and to create nontraditional pathways to engaging, fulfilling careers in the digital factory. If industry is to invigorate and revitalize manufacturing, it must start with the new collar workers who essentially make digital fabrication for Industry 4.0 possible.”

If you hire, train or manage a manufacturing workforce; educate or parent students who are searching for a career path; or are exploring a career change, you should read this book.

  • Pages: 172
  • Images: Full color
  • Format: Softcover, Hardcover
  • Width: 6 in.
  • Height: 9 in.
  • Shipping & Handling: Product ships in 3 to 5 business days. Add $12 for shipping and handling in the U.S. and Canada. All other countries, add $20.
  • ISBN: Softcover, 978-0-9988539-9-4; Hardcover, 978-0-9988539-8-7

About the Author
Sarah Boisvert has more than 30 years of experience in the design, development and... more about Sarah Boisvert

 Praise for The New Collar Workforce

“The New Collar Workforce” brings home the concept of how STEM education training – paired with the creativity and multi-disciplinary skill sets engendered through digital fabrication in the Fab Lab community – will lead to the perfectly positioned next-generation workforce. That workforce will face technologies we can’t yet imagine, but it will be able to embrace those technologies and lead us into the future.

Sherry Lassiter
Fab Foundation

Sarah Boisvert’s “The New Collar Workforce” is an on-the-spot actual view of the present situation of manufacturing in the U.S. The link from traditional manufacturing to “Industry 4.0,” in combination with the unique systematic and technological (e.g. additive manufacturing) competence of institutions like FABLAB/ MIT, paves the road to the future. If you have anything to do with manufacturing in the U.S., you will benefit greatly from this sharp, condensed, actual and comprehensive analysis!

Professor Dr. Reinhart Poprawe
Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT
RWTH Aachen University – Chair of Laser Technology

A very thorough survey of major trends in manufacturing that require skills and knowledge explained and illustrated in the text which constitute the elements for a "new collar" workforce in advanced manufacturing. The book couples this useful information with insights into how a global network of "fab labs" and maker spaces are contributing to the development of this 21st century workforce in very DIY ways, supplemented with entrepreneurial endeavors.

Neil Didriksen
Chairman of the Board
Open Works, Baltimore


Businesseducation3d printingmanufacturingtrainingjobscareersPotomac Photonicsworkforce educationdigital fabricationhiringnew collar workforcedigital factorytechnology careerslean manufacturingeconomic developmentlaser additive manufacturingFab LabFab Lab Hubworkforce training