Recognized Skill Standards
October 21, 2008
These skill standards were developed by OP-TEC, the National Center for Optics and Photonics Education, a National Science Foundation-funded Advanced Technology Education (ATE) Center of Excellence.
Importance to Texas
Photonics is defined as “the technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon.” Photonics encompasses applications in numerous and diverse fields of technology including information technology, telecommunications, health care, industrial manufacturing, and others.
The Photonics skill standards describe six broad areas of specialization and define critical work functions, associated tasks and technical skills, as well as employability skills for each specialization. Any number of standard occupational titles could be included in the specialization areas, including industrial, electrical, and mechanical engineering technicians, audio and video equipment technicians, biomedical equipment technicians, and manufacturing equipment technicians.
OP-TEC describes photonics as an “enabling technology.” Many industries use equipment that has some kind of optical component in its function. By recognizing these skill standards and promoting them to Texas community and technical colleges, programs can be developed to train photonics specialists as well as giving specialists in other concentrations exposure to a technology area that will give them a stronger skill set and open up additional employment opportunities for them.
The Vice President of Operations of Intelligent Epitaxy Technology, Inc. of Dallas described the breadth of participation in the OP-TEC Employer Council and the diversity of the employers and educators who reviewed and approved the skill standards, and requested on behalf of the OP-TEC Employer Council that Texas recognize the skill standards.
The skill standards were recognized on October 21, 2008.