Cardinal Manufacturing fills skills gap, one student at a time

Cardinal manufacturing studentGetting young people involved in manufacturing early in their education is deemed critical to preparing them for a future in manufacturing. One big success story comes from Eleva-Strum High School in Strum, WI, where Cardinal Manufacturing has been pushing successfully toward its goal of “Filling the Skills Gap One Student at a Time” since the 2008-2009 school year.

Technical Education Instructor Craig Cegielski said that the success of this high school trades program is evident in the results he has seen over the past 10 years. “More than 70% of the students in this manufacturing program [find careers] in this field,” said Cegielski.

The program has been so successful that Cegielski fields calls from administrators at schools around the country wanting to emulate it. On Oct. 10, 2019, administrators, instructors and others can attend an event hosted by Cardinal Manufacturing to learn how to create a student-run technical manufacturing program. The Starting or Growing Your School-based Enterprise workshop will explain Cardinal Manufacturing’s successful program and explore curriculum development that involves teaching of both hard and soft skills that employers demand while providing real-life manufacturing experience for students.

Cardinal Manufacturing isn’t industry-specific—the broad-based initiative exposes students to several manufacturing skills including mechanical engineering, automation and machine shop. Students leave the program with an excellent basic knowledge of manufacturing technology and operations, which gives them a head start in their careers. Companies can then offer them training and apprenticeships specific to mold making, plastics processing and so forth.

“Our program is getting bigger, and now we’re helping other schools replicate the model we’ve created,” Cegielski said.

Cost for the one-day event is $150. If you want more information on the October 10 event, visit Cardinal Manufacturing’s website.

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