High Impact Technology Exchange Conference

Preparing America's Skilled Technical Workforce

2023 Award Winners

Awards will be presented at HI-TEC on Wednesday, July 26, Noon–1:00 p.m. at the Awards Luncheon.

Educator-of-the-Year Award
This award represents HI-TEC’s commitment to recognize community college faculty who make significant contributions to the education and training of today’s technology workforce. Nominees for the award must have had a demonstrated broader impact on technology education on both a local and national level. The Educator-of-the-Year Award recognizes a community college educator for outstanding contributions to advanced technological education.

Ken Mays, Instructor, Central Oregon Community College

Ken Mays taught in Central Oregon Community College’s (COCC) automotive technology program for over 25 years and directed the program from 1998 to 2022. Ken’s greatest joy is watching past graduates succeed in the automotive industry as technicians, managers, and business owners. Although he retired from full-time teaching in 2022, he continues to support the COCC automotive program as an adjunct faculty member. His favorite courses are those that encompass an array of scientific principles, mixed with mechanical and electrical applications. Ken was a pioneer in expanding his automotive program to include alternate fuel vehicle technology and quickly became a national leader in electric vehicle technology instruction.

Ken has led the development of digital badging, certifications, and new-era associate degrees that incorporate alternative fuel technology. He was instrumental in initiating the formation of a nonprofit consortium of community colleges whose mission is to improve the growing auto tech readiness gap and improve continuing education opportunities for technicians.

Increasing the diversity of automotive programs has been a goal in all of Ken’s work. He has significantly increased female engagement in his own program and encourages others to implement strategies for increasing the number of females who pursue careers as automotive technicians. He has recently extended this effort through an alliance with Awesome Women in Automotive, a Kansas-based national nonprofit that matches two-year college females in automotive programs with female mentors in the industry.

Industry Recognition Award
This award represents HI-TEC’s commitment to recognize industry colleagues who make significant contributions to the education and training of today’s technology workforce. Nominees for the award must have had a demonstrated broader impact on technology education on both a local and national level. The Industry Recognition Award recognizes key industry personnel for outstanding contributions to promote advanced technological education.

Martin Guay, Vice President of Business Development, Stanley Black & Decker

Martin (Marty) Guay, Vice President of Business Development for Stanley Black and Decker (SBD), is a true champion of partnerships for workforce development. He is a member of the National Visiting Committee of the NSF ATE-funded National Center for Next Generation Manufacturing (NCNGM)  and has been a partner in Connecticut College of Technology’s (COT) workforce development initiatives.

Marty has had significant involvement in the Connecticut Digital Talent Ecosystem Initiative (DTEI) for the development of new pathways to digital skills and credentials. DTEI brought together the efforts COT, industry partners (including SBD), the Business-Higher Education Forum (BHEF), and the New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE) to identify the KSAs needed for entry-level positions in digital technology. The DTEI rebundled curriculum for digital foundation credentials for low-income and displaced workers as well as potential students not ready to commit to full programs.

Under Marty’s leadership, SBD enhanced curriculum with virtual workshops and seminars. In early 2022, he was a presenter for the “Community Colleges and ATE Programs Addressing Workforce for Industry 4.0” webinar, which was part of a series that culminated in April of that year with the ASEE I4.0 Summit in Washington, DC. As a keynote and facilitator at the summit, Marty emphasized that we must continually elevate the image of manufacturing to show that it is a prestigious career path for those just starting in the workforce or for those looking for a second career.

Innovative Program Award
This award represents HI-TEC’s commitment to recognize innovation in advanced technology education. The Innovative Program Award is designed to recognize a team of advanced technology education professionals that has designed and implemented a significant innovation, which has led to a positive impact on student enrollment, retention, and/or advanced technological education.

Micro Nano Technology Collaborative Undergraduate Research Network (MNT-CURN)

The MNT-CURN program provides community college students yearlong internships with community college mentors that culminate with a capstone summer experience. The program is tailored to make undergraduate research more equitable and accessible to underserved students. Over 100 students (90 percent being from underrepresented student groups) have participated in research experiences at twelve universities, including Caltech, University of New Mexico, and Purdue. Students in the program have won the Community College Innovation Challenge, obtained third place in the MATE ROV competition, been awarded Goldwater Scholarships, published over twenty peer reviewed articles, and participated in national conferences such as Posters on the Hill.

The aim of MNT-CURN is to give students access to summer experiences that will prepare them for the skilled technical workforce. Two activities developed by the leadership team include working in cleanrooms across the country to prepare for work as technicians and the availability of remote research experiences that develop simulations and focus on learning coding skills that can be used in technical education jobs, such as Cybersecurity.

The MNT-CURN model has been well received and over 30 Community Colleges will submit proposals to the Department of Commerce and Department of Defense that would scale the program from 60 students a year to 500 with a substantial increase in internship opportunities and stipend amounts. MNT-CURN has been successful in providing community college students research internships tailored to student needs and providing an equitable and diverse program.