EDWARDSBURG, Mich. (WSBT) — Edwardsburg High school Students are getting a unique classroom opportunity.
Kids can be a part of an industrial arts class that teaches them manufacturing skills used in the workforce.
This program is helping prepare kids for potential careers.
Despite being inside of a high school, these students are using the same tools and equipment you'd see in manufacturing.
Students say that kind of training makes this feel like they're a part of the workforce.
We have the snap on tools, precision certification, and I want to be a diesel mechanic so being able to be certified with precision tools and being able to use them and to use other machines and fabrication can benefit me in the field I want to go with diesel mechanic,” said Gabe Bailey, sophomore.
The school is partnering with SME, The Society of Manufacturing Engineers Education Foundation, to inspire the next generation of manufacturers.
With many manufacturing jobs open, there's hope that some of these students can help fill those roles after high school.
“I think with a lot of industry around here, there’s a need for skilled labor, I think we have got to find a way to bridge that gap between schools and the manufacturing industry,” said Damon Hummel, industrial arts teacher.
People from SME were at the school Monday for the beginning of the PRIME program.
It's the Partnership Response in Manufacturing Education, and a $360,000 grant has been announced to make sure these kids have what they need for this program.
“The RV industry, like any manufacturing sector, is an industry that is starving for talent, and the prime program that we’re putting in at this high school is training the students to graduate with skill sets and certifications, industry recognized credentials that the RV industry or other manufacturers in the area are in desperate need of,” said Rob Luce, VP SME Education Foundation.
“I think the main focus is hands-on, project-based learning so the kids are going to come in here, they’re going to get to work, and they’re going to branch out,” said Hummel.
Hummel says using equipment from professional industries in this class gives his students a leg up.