The prospects for nanotechnology to contribute to the US economy are staggering, with estimates of the impact on the world economy of up to $1.5 trillion by 2015. Public education about nanotechnology and continuing challenges in training scientifically literate workforce are key underpinnings of this emerging industry. It is anticipated that 800,000 technician-level employees will be required by the nanotechnology industry by 2013. This represents a huge challenge to the 2- and 4- year colleges and universities in recruitment, curriculum development, retention and completion, which will only be met by diversifying the base of potential trainees and developing efficient and effective training modalities.
The objective in this area is to enhance the regional workforce in support of nanotechnology by developing a certificate program in nanotechnology for Associate of Arts students at Lansing Community College. We believe that our program can become a model program, allowing the nation to begin to address the need for competency in the occupational workforce to support the nascent nanotechnology industry.