The Warren County Career Center has received a state grant to encourage students to enter manufacturing fields and possibly try to change the way career and technical center education is offered.
Gov. Tom Wolf announced Friday that the career center would receive $117,000 in Manufacturing PA Training to Career Program (MTTC) funds “to introduce Warren County School District high school students to the manufacturing industry as an alternative to the traditional higher education path.”
“Pursuing a career in the manufacturing industry is the right choice for many students – they just need the opportunity to see what the field is all about,” Wolf said. “Pennsylvania has many lucrative manufacturing job opportunities and providing the chance for students to learn about this career path is critical for it to remain a key industry within the commonwealth.”
“The Warren County Career Center and the Warren County School District are very excited about this opportunity,” WCCC Principal Jim Evers said. “We believe it will provide a benefit for both our students and our community.”
“Students will be exposed to industrial career opportunities beyond the single, technical field,” Evers said. “This will open the door of manufacturing to other students who may have never considered it as an option. We believe this has the potential of changing how career and technical education is provided in our district.”
According to the release from Wolf’s office, “the Warren County Career Center plans to use their $117,000 in MTTC funding to attract students to manufacturing by providing an alternative path to high school students who may not realize there are options outside of attending a college or university. To accomplish this, a part time position at the center will be filled, new equipment as well as materials and tools will be purchased, promotional and marketing materials will be created, and 20 Haas Certifications will be purchased.”
Evers said the program is modeled off of one at Erie McDowell High School.
“It is a student-run enterprise with students from Machine Technology, Pre-Engineering and Multi-Media Marketing working together,” he said.
Students at the career center are going to step in and fill rolls that local industry does not want to do.
“Local industry has specific parts or other jobs that they either don’t want to do, cost too much to do, or outsource to other companies,” Evers said. “They have agreed to work with us and send us some of this work.”
The process will include more than reading and making designs, fabricating parts, and handing them over.
For example, “The companies will meet with our advisor and provide a description of or drawing of the part they need and the number they need,” he said. “Our students will be trained by local industry on how to use available software to price the manufacturing of the part.”
Students “will send the company their bid for making the part – possibly haggle over the price, etc. and finally come to an agreed upon price,” Evers said. “Once an agreed upon price is obtained, students from Machine Tech and Pre-Engineering will CNC program the part.”
These projects will not use scrap nor donated materials.
“Students will order the materials needed and make the parts in the appropriate time frame,” he said.
The pricing, payment, and taxation portions of the project are new to the shops. “The students will then develop an invoice for payment for the parts and ship them out,” Evers said. “Students involved will be trained in using Quickbooks to develop the invoices and pay required taxes.”
“Marketing students will market the program with local/regional companies to increase sales,” he said.
While selling the career center’s services to companies, they will also sell the career center’s opportunities to students.
“All profit will go back to the students in the form of scholarships and program incentives,” Evers said.
District officials hope to grow the program. “We are working with Central Office on the development of elective courses so non-CTC (career and technical center) students can be involved in a one- to two-period class,” he said. “The overall goal is to increase student awareness of manufacturing opportunities and career exploration and expose more students to manufacturing.”
“If successful, we see this as having the potential to change how CTC is offered to students,” Evers said.