To increase the supply of well-educated Photonics Technicians by building and strengthening the capacity and quality of photonics education in the U.S. two-year colleges.
Serve as the leader of the U.S. network of colleges and employers offering optics and photonics technician education.
Provide up-to-date, employer-validated resources to improve teaching and learning in optics, lasers and photonics education.
Expand the number of educational courses and programs in optics and photonics offered by colleges and high schools.
Provide education and training for administrators, counselors, high school teachers, and community college faculty members.
Identify and support the emergence of new technologies, including alternative energy, that require technician knowledge and skills in optics and photonics.
OP-TEC has established a national infrastructure for developing and supporting widely-disseminated educational programs in cutting-edge, high-demand technologies that require photonics. This infrastructure encompasses collaboration with photonics employers across the country, technical societies, and over 30 two-year colleges. Each college partners with local high schools and employers to serve their community through workforce development in this highly emerging technology. OP-TEC is also bridging the gap in the participation of women and minorities in technology, breaking down geographical and socioeconomic barriers, and making the study of technology more widely accessible. By providing career pathways in which students begin the pursuit of technical careers early and transition seamlessly into post-secondary programs, OP-TEC enables students to acquire the skills necessary to compete in the global marketplace. OP-TEC also works with colleges to educate employed technicians working in this field.