High School Precision Machining Programs are Developing with Industry Support, and other Workforce Development News
ProShop USA is donating ERP software to the student-run Eagle Manufacturing business at Brown County High School in Indiana; Gateway Technical College celebrates expansion of Industry 4.0 center; Lakeview Precision Machining Inc. hosted 16 students from South Elgin High School in Illinois, on a tour of its facility; and finally, the Space Coast Consortium Apprenticeship Program formally welcomes its first nine students into the two-year program.
ProShop USA Supports Student-Run Eagle Manufacturing
(Left to right) Brian Anderson, implementation specialist, ProShop USA and Chris Townsend, advisor, Eagle Manufacturing, stand next to a machining center.
Eagle Manufacturing is in its second full year of operation, with 26 students “employed” in the business for the 2019-2020 school year. Brown County High School created Eagle Manufacturing to provide students with the employability and technical skills they need to succeed after high school. As in a traditional manufacturing company, the student business offers a range of positions and opportunities to learn. The business operates during the regular school day and as a full-time internship in the summer.
"We are incredibly excited to implement ProShop in Eagle Manufacturing,” says Chris Townsend, Eagle Manufacturing advisor. “The software will allow us to go to the next level of efficiency and productivity in order to help better serve our customers. It will allow our students to engage with real-world, industry management software daily and further develop their technical and employability skills to prepare them for the workforce.”
Gateway Celebrates Expansion of Industry 4.0 Center
Gateway Technical College SC Johnson iMET Center in Sturtevant, Wisconsin,
Governor Tony Evers checks out an industrial robot at the opening ceremony for the remodeled and expanded Gateway Technical College SC Johnson iMET Center in Sturtevant, Wisconsin, Oct. 22.
has completed its expansion project, adding 35,800 square feet. 12,080 square feet of existing space was remodeled as part of the project. The expansion features additional labs with high-tech training equipment to provide the framework for advanced manufacturing career skills. Some of the equipment is portable, allowing college instructors to provide training on-site to area manufacturers and high schools.
The center is home to 12 academic programs related to advanced manufacturing and Industry 4.0. Many national companies stepped forward to provide resources, equipment and industry knowledge to help make the center a local and national site of Industry 4.0 training.
Shop Gives High School Students Real-Time Experience
Students in the precision manufacturing program at South Elgin High School in Illinois, work with sophisticated CNC and other machining equipment in the shop, but until recently students in the current production technology program had never visited a commercial machining facility. On Nov. 6, Lakeview Precision Machining Inc. in South Elgin hosted 16 students on a tour of its facility to meet its team for a hands-on experience with its precision machining operations.
Students in the precision manufacturing program at South Elgin High School toured Lakeview Precision Machining on Nov. 6.
“This was a great experience for the students,” says Russ Bartz, the school’s precision manufacturing instructor. “It gave them the opportunity to see a working manufacturing operation, visiting all Lakeview departments from accounting and engineering, to machining, quality assurance and shipping, to ask questions and to share the work experiences of the company’s machinists and other department staff.”
The group was greeted by Debbie Sommers, Lakeview Precision Machining president/owner, who spoke about the company’s 50-plus years of experience in precision machining and her personal career journey.
“I was where you are,” she explains. “Then, after high school, I began working here at Lakeview, and through the years rose through different company positions to become president. There are tremendous career opportunities for you in manufacturing as you come directly out of high school, as well as for graduates from technical schools, four-year universities, or after service in our military.”
Apprenticeship Program in Florida’s Space Coast Welcomes First Apprentices
The Space Coast Consortium Apprenticeship Program led by a group of advanced manufacturing companies operating on the Space Coast formally welcomed its first nine students into the two-year program at a formal event in mid-2019 attended by government and business leaders, including Governor Ron DeSantis; Frank DiBello, president and CEO of Space Florida; Dr. James Richey, president of Eastern Florida State College; and Thomas Lichtenberger, CEO of Festo Didactic.
Under the program, student apprentices attend classes at Eastern Florida State two days a week and work on the manufacturing floors of participating companies, including OneWeb Satellites, RUAG Space, Rocket Crafters, and Knights Armament, three days a week. By mixing classroom learning with on-the-job learning, students will graduate with real, immediately marketable skills.
The program will develop mechatronics technicians in the first cohort of the program and strives to also develop fiber composite technicians and advanced CNC/DNC machinists.
Upon graduation, students will earn apprenticeship certifications, as well as a two-year associate degree from Eastern Florida State College.
The consortium approach to the apprenticeship program is the first of its kind in Florida and comes only weeks after Governor DeSantis visited the Space Coast to sign CS/HB 7071, a broad workforce education bill that includes a number of provisions enhancing apprenticeship programs in Florida.
The consortium was formed in 2017 by Kai Schmidt, human resources director of OneWeb Satellites and Bryan Kamm, founder and principal of Kamm Consulting, to address a shortage of highly skilled advanced manufacturing workforce on the Space Coast.
Having recently relocated to Florida from Germany, Mr. Schmidt knows first-hand how similar programs are critical to Germany’s manufacturing prowess.
Mr. Kamm likewise had experience with the German model and saw how it could not only help with his own mission to staff up technology company RUAG’s new Titusville factory but could benefit the region as a whole.