Saturday, November 8, 2008

Precision Optics Technician Skill Standard Review Invitation

Dear Colleague,

I am writing to you as a representative of an optics and photonics industry cluster to ask for your support in an effort to develop skills standards for Precision Optics Technicians (POTs).

We define Precision Optics Technicians as:

“Specialists in the technical field of optical component fabrication where required surface tolerances are of the order of 1/16th wavelength (38 nanometers) and positional tolerances are 10 wavelengths (6350 nanometers). They work in optical shops for optics manufacturers, and in quality control (incoming inspection) departments for organizations that incorporate precision optics into various systems.”

Based upon preliminary research, there is a strong demand for these highly skilled technicians but scarcely any capability in our nation’s colleges for preparing them.

The National Center for Optics and Photonics Education (OP-TEC) has received a supplemental grant from the National Science Foundation to explore the need and feasibility for a national multi-year project to initiate college programs to educate and train POTs. As part of this study, OP-TEC has developed a draft set of skill standards to help define what workers in this field should know and be able to do on the job.

These draft standards now need to be reviewed by employers who have POTs working for them. To expedite this review OP-TEC has developed on its website a questionnaire type of survey. This survey takes about 15 minutes to complete and can be accessed at Once on the website, click on the “Review POT Skill Standards” link on the top right side of the home page to enter the survey.

We need your assistance in this review effort. If you know employers who have POTs working for them, please forward this e-mail and encourage them to complete the survey before December 1, 2008.

Please direct any questions on these standards to Dan Hull or John Souders

Thank you, in advance, for lending your expertise in developing the standards that will form a foundation for developing education and training programs designed to meet the skilled technician needs of the U.S. optics industry!

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