Does Your Company Have Wish List Projects? Students Can Be a Technical Resource

Each academic year, NFPA’s workforce development staff meets with our community/technical college and university education partners to share ideas and gauge their needs for support regarding fluid power curriculum and activities associated with NFPA programs. Each call results in a productive dialogue that helps us improve our programs and opportunity to connect NFPA members with the future talent they need.

Most recently, we have gotten several requests from instructors for ideas for hands-on projects that allow the students to get some real-world experiences. Beyond their direct feedback to us, an article that was recently published in Inside Higher Ed quotes a Wiley report that states”a whopping 81 percent of students also said that it’s important or very important for institutions to incorporate company-led projects to mimic real-world work. Yet only 30 percent of institutions currently offer such projects, according to the report.”

Here are some ways that this can help you:

  1. View the students as a technical resource. If you were to hire an intern, what would you have them do?
  2. This can be considered an off-site internship or independent study with instructor faculty oversight.
  3. Advances the timeline to address projects that have been pushed lower on your priority list.

Here is how you can help us:

  1. Select a project that is not on your critical path so that the students have time to complete the project.
  2. Select a project that is non-confidential or brand neutral. The students prefer to be able to speak about their projects.
  3. Select a project that is likely to be completed in one semester. There is opportunity for extension, but this time frame is preferred.
  4. Dedicate staff from your company to support the project, students and instructor(s).

We brainstormed a multidisciplinary project that could involve any of the following, or more.

  1. Data acquisition and data interpretations
  2. Integration
  3. Testing
  4. Functional systems that can be run in a lab or on a field
  5. Troubleshooting

We have a similar need for high school projects associated with our Fast Track program. The preference for these would be to have a low cost, easy to incorporate project that uses industry grade components.

We can connect you with students and instructors to conduct the project through the relationships we have built with our education partners and our Fluid Power Club program, but we need your input on the types of hands on-activities would be benefit students seeking knowledge and careers in the fluid power industry.

Contact Stephanie at with any wish list projects you have or to learn more.

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