The Jefferson Institute of Technology: Facts and Updates

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Founded by Tom Borkes, the Jefferson Project—through the Jefferson Institute of Technology (JIT)—aims to build and maintain a world class workforce for the domestic electronics manufacturing industry, while showcasing state-of-the-art equipment and developing emerging assembly technologies.

Based on the principles of Concurrent Education, JIT will use a state-of-the-art not-for-profit business—the Jefferson Electronic Manufacturing Center (JEM Center)—as the environment for learning during the entire tenure of a student's education. Students will receive an intensive, continually updated academic program, using the manufacturing business as their classroom. Hands-on experience in every facet of the manufacturing operation will teach real-world skills and problem solving. In addition, product developers and equipment manufacturers can observe the latest electronic packaging technologies in a real-world application.

Here are some JIT facts:

1. JIT will be co-located with the JEM Center, a contract manufacturing (EMS) business.

2. The JEM Center will provide the student with a real-world classroom to supplement the traditional undergraduate engineering education.

3. Over four years, JIT students will participate in every aspect of the JEM Center operation—and, be paid for their contributions.

4. Successful completion of the four-year JIT program will result in a B.S. in Applied Product Design and Production Sciences.

5. Each product assembly process step continues to be scrutinized and assigned to a traditional applicable engineering class, e.g., printing solder paste to chemistry, fluid dynamics, etc. The JIT class is then supplemented with process-related content.

6. The JIT academic year will consist of three, 16-week trimesters.

7. Students will graduate with APICS (Material & Supply Chain Management) and ASQ (Including 6-Sigma Black Belt) certifications. They also will have taken the Fundamentals in Engineering (FE) Exam that can lead to a P.E license.

8. Real world issues encountered by the student in the JEM Center operation will be addressed in real time. These issues, many without closed-form solutions, will permit the student to develop a crucial skill: good judgment—invaluable to their future employers.

9. Corporate sponsors will provide leading edge automation equipment and supplies. Students will always be learning in a state-of-the art environment.

10. Basic student tuition is $5,000/trimester. Corporate student sponsorships, scholarships and the paid work in the JEM Center can reduce this cost.

11. Curriculum development is partially based on Mortimer Adler’s Paideia Proposal and The Great Books, but with a blending of Learning for Learning, AND Learning for Earning.

12. The School’s development borrows from the Jeffersonian strategy he used for The University of Virginia.

13. Formal contracts between students and JEM’s clients will guarantee students a job upon graduation, and guarantee the client companies employees with a world class education—those educated by building the company’s products.

A freshman, Trimester 1 class listing has already been released, where “Civics” and “Organizational & Personal Ethics in an Engineering Environment” classes have been added. For more information, contact Tom Borkes at



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