As a part of the Ohio Department of Education’s (ODE) alternative pathways to graduation, high school students have the option to demonstrate mastery-level learning by earning industry-recognized credentials; one way to do this is by offering workforce readiness programming at Madison High School. During the 2021-2022 school year, Madison Local Schools applied for and received funding from the Innovative Workforce Incentive Program, which provides grants to assist in establishing credential programs to prepare students for careers in priority industry sectors. Through a partnership with EnvisionEdPlus – a company that utilizes innovative, research-based strategies to equip educators and other youth serving organizations with the resources they need to solve day-to-day challenges – the MLS team, consisting of Julie Behm, Jacqueline Rode, Nick Riley, Burt Sivon, and Dean Wadd, was able to design a multi-year program aligned with Manufacturing Apprenticeships.
This new Pre-Apprenticeship opportunity enrolled its first cohorts in January for Advanced Manufacturing, and ultimately leads into an Apprenticeship for many training centers and manufacturers within the Madison region. This simulated course will provide training to enable students to test to receive the twelve industry-recognized credentials needed to graduate as an alternative pathway to graduation. By the end of the course, students will earn a Certified Production Technician certificate, which is recognized by all manufacturing industries for employment, and will also be offered the opportunity to complete a Pre-Apprenticeship through the Alliance of Working Together (AWT), a non-profit that supports manufacturing careers in Lake County. Upon completion of a successful Pre-Apprenticeship, students will be invited to enter into one of AWT’s apprenticeships in one of their many partner companies.
“Through programs such as this one, area schools can help students successfully transition from school to career, while keeping well-trained employees in the region,” states Shannon Ranta, Coordinator, Curriculum, and Data Specialist at the ESC of the Western Reserve.
The curriculum for MSSC (Manufacturing Skill Standards Council) by Amatrol contains all the basic knowledge in manufacturing such as; safety, quality practices and measurement, manufacturing processes and production, and maintenance awareness. Amatrol's Skill Boss module experience is recognized by human resources personnel, too. An ideal prerequisite for junior and senior students to be enrolled in the Advanced Manufacturing class is successful completion of one or more MHS' STEM/CTE classes such as; Introduction to Engineering Design, Principles of Engineering, Drafting Technology (Product Design & Architecture), Civil Engineering & Architecture, and/or Manufacturing Technology (Woods) – also Robotics Club.
“For those students who are planning on pursuing engineering or any related career, they'll be more marketable than any other college graduate with these classes in their background,” says Dean Wadd, Industrial Technology Instructor. “There are increased chances to be admitted into the college of their choice.”
For those students going directly into a career after high school graduation, they can attend a training center, paid on-the-job training, etc. in a place that has an impressive work environment, great wages, project-based, and growth in a professional career. Career Education is incorporated into the curriculum. By the time they complete the class, students will understand soft skills, job searches, online applications, hiring process, resume, cover letters, interview skills, etc.
Throughout the course, students also have the opportunity for multiple field trips that align with different potential career fields within the area, as well as a speaker series with high-end companies to further their education.
If you’re unsure what manufacturing is, take this fun quiz (if you choose incorrect answers, you’ll even get a funny response)!