FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CLEVELAND, WI –
Area high schools will have the opportunity to offer introductory manufacturing classes beginning next school year thanks to an Advanced Manufacturing Mobile Lab unveiled during a dedication ceremony at Lakeshore Technical College on February 26.
Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, one of the featured speakers at the dedication ceremony, referred to the lab as “opportunity on wheels.”
The mobile lab “represents a new generation of our wonderful Wisconsin workforce,” Kleefisch said, adding the state has the best workforce in the world.
“Manufacturing is still a backbone industry in Wisconsin,” she said. “We have more manufacturers in our state per capita than in any other state in the country. Not only is manufacturing our history, our roots, but it is also our future.”
The 340-square-foot lab is versatile, according to Richard Hoerth, executive dean of manufacturing trades and agriculture at LTC.
“The key here is the ability not only to be able to be transported to other sites but also the flexibility that goes into that trailer,” Hoerth said. “We have the ability to offload equipment, bring new equipment on,” allowing the lab to be used for training in a variety of subject areas.
Available classes, which will be team taught by an LTC instructor and a teacher from the hosting high school, include introductory classes in automation, robotics, hand tools and precision measuring equipment.
Mishicot High School and Manitowoc's Lincoln High School will be the first to make use of the new opportunity as both are scheduled for the upcoming fall semester. Mishicot will use the actual lab while Lincoln will use the equipment and teach the classes in the school, according to Jason Scholten, the mobile lab instructor.
“Manufacturing offers high tech and high demand careers,” said Scholten. “By introducing manufacturing careers to high school students, we show them these are desirable options with pathways for skilled workers.”
“I think it fits right in with everything that we are doing to expose kids to career options,” said Mishicot Superintendent Colleen Timm who attended the dedication event. “And it certainly enhances what we're doing in the classroom” by giving students “access to ... equipment and training.”
The school district couldn't afford to purchase the equipment itself so the lab will provide the students with an opportunity they otherwise wouldn't have, Timm said.
Mike Trimberger, principal at Sheboygan South High School, said the school is establishing a “manufacturing academy,” a group of classes that industry representatives have said students should take, and while South isn't scheduled for the mobile lab at this point, using it is one possibility for accomplishing that.
“It's important in a changing world to find ways beyond the traditional classroom to engage students,” Trimberger said.
Partners in development of the lab include LTC, Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, Wisconsin Job Center, Wisconsin Department of Corrections, and from the private sector, Plenco in Sheboygan, Curt G. Joa Inc. in Sheboygan Falls, and Rockwell Automation, based in Milwaukee.
About Lakeshore Technical College
Each year more than 11,000 people enroll in courses at Lakeshore Technical College. They rely on LTC for job preparation, to earn a degree, upgrade a specialized skill, train as an apprentice, or seek a high school equivalency. LTC faculty and staff meet students where they are in life and help them get one step closer to achieving their goals.
Close to 1,000 students graduate from LTC each year, and LTC’s associate degree graduates earn an average starting salary of $45,000 per year. In addition to the Cleveland campus, LTC serves students in Manitowoc and Sheboygan, and offers classes at four sites throughout the district. Visit LTC at gotoltc.edu.