85: Educating the New Collar Workforce with Sarah Boisvert

Sarah Boisvert has a long history in the manufacturing world. She started her career in lasers which fed into 3D printing, and now she’s helping close the skills gap as the Founder of both the Fab Lab Hub and the New Collar Network.

In this episode, Sarah delves into the inspiration behind the New Collar Movement and how it’s impacted her career since then. She also explains the thinking behind Fab Labs and gives some insights into the programs offered, digital badges awarded, and unique teaching approaches applied.

Sarah goes on to highlight the value of problem-solving skills for the modern-day manufacturing workforce and explains why it’s so much more important than test-taking skills and knowledge regurgitation.


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3 Quick Things from this Episode

  1. In recent times, there’s been a movement towards more customized training.
  2. One key problem faced by manufacturers is finding people with good problem-solving skills.
  3. There’s more interest at the college level on certificates, digital badges, and short-term programs.

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Tweetable Quotes

  • “Unless you’re going to become an engineer, a doctor, or lawyer, college doesn’t necessarily ensure a successful career economically.”
  • “A critical part of our program is to ensure people can apply for jobs with a portfolio because it tells an HR person so much more than a certificate or a degree.”
  • “Today, it’s easy to find an engineer but try and find a CNC machinist — it’s hard because everyone’s convinced that they need to go to college.”

Please Scroll Down for Recommended Resources from this Episode

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What We Discuss with Sarah

  • Sarah’s insights into the new collar movement
  • How Sarah transitioned from working with lasers to 3D printing
  • What fab labs are and how they operate
  • The importance of problem-solving skills in manufacturing
  • Where Sarah believes education will be in five years

Recommended Resources

Connect with Sarah

Sarah Boisvert | Twitter | LinkedIn