October is Manufacturing Month in Wisconsin. The Department of Public Instruction recognizes the many opportunities available for students through manufacturing programs in schools and around the state.
The Chippewa Valley Council of Career Exploring is one organization that provides opportunities for students to gain hands-on experiences in various types of careers. They have been organizing a manufacturing exploration program for students for the past three years. Career Exploring exists to teach important life and career skills to young people from all backgrounds through immersive career experiences and mentorship provided by the community and businesses, to equip young people with character, leadership, and life skills.
Exploring is a unique experience, where businesses and leaders come together to offer students multiple interactive sessions within different career industries.
This past summer, nine students from Chippewa Falls Area Unified School District, Eau Claire Area School District, Fall Creek School District, and Lake Holcombe School District participated in the annual Manufacturing Boot Camp. It was held June 18-21 and June 25-28. Students participated from 9:00 am until noon, Monday through Thursday, gaining 24 hours of hands-on work experiences.
Students visited eight different manufacturing sites in Chippewa and Eau Claire Counties. Participating businesses included: Plank Enterprises, Chippewa Valley Technical College, TTM Technologies, W.S. Darley, University of Wisconsin-Stout Manufacturing Outreach Center, Advanced Laser Machining, PMI LLC, and Spectrum Industries.
Each day of the two-week boot camp consisted of sharing the process and importance of manufacturing. The Manufacturing Boot Camp hosts were encouraged to provide hands-on experiences and projects for students, showing them the skills and requirements needed in their specific businesses.
Over the past three years, Career Exploring students have gone on to pursue jobs or education in manufacturing at the University of Wisconsin-Stout, Chippewa Valley Technical College, Senn Blacktop, Spectrum Industries, PMI LLC, and Allied Dies, Inc.
Subscriber Submission: Sydney Willson, Exploring Executive, Career Exploring