Stu­dents learn on job­site

Pre-en­gi­neer­ing stu­dents placed in lo­cal in­tern­ships

The Morning Journal (Lorain, OH) - - FRONT PAGE - By Carol Harper

Some lessons can only be learned on a man­u­fac­tur­ing job­site floor.

So a new MAGNET program at Lo­rain High School is of­fer­ing in­tern­ships to pre-en­gi­neer­ing stu­dents with in­dus­tries that would like to grow their own high tech tal­ent.

“We are re­ally ex­cited about this,” said Rich Moreck, ca­reer tech­ni­cal ed­u­ca­tion di­rec­tor at the school.

Most of the 600 ca­reer tech stu­dents log work­place ex­pe­ri­ence be­fore grad­u­at­ing, Moreck said. But pre-en­gi­neer­ing stu­dents did not have that op­por­tu­nity, said Bill Bo­gan, pre-en­gi­neer­ing teacher at Lo­rain High.

The men cited Nord­son Corp., Parker Han­nifin Corp., and Ea­ton Corp. as com­pa­nies in­ter­ested in pro­vid­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for high school stu­dents.

So Lo­rain Schools turned to Man­u­fac­tur­ing Ad­vo­cacy and Growth Net­work of Ohio, from Cleve­land.

And Dr. Ter­rence S. Robin­son, vice pres­i­dent of eco­nomic in­clu­sion and early col­lege early ca­reer path­ways for MAGNET, was as­signed to the district.

New this year is a twoyear in­tern­ship, and so far Lo­rain is the only school in Lo­rain County in­volved with MAGNET, Bo­gan said.

Robin­son said lo­cal in­dus­try lead­ers sit on the board at MAGNET, and the in­tern­ships are an adap­ta­tion of Euro­pean ap­pren­tice­ship pro­grams. The point is to help young peo­ple learn about ca­reers in man­u­fac­tur­ing, he said.

He also works with stu­dents in Wick­liffe and three schools in the Cleve­land Metropoli­tan School District.

The program starts with ca­reer ex­plo­ration for fresh­men and sopho­mores, with the in­tern­ship be­gin­ning in the ju­nior year, Robin­son said.

“It’s a two-year im­mer­sion into what it’s like to work in a man­u­fac­tur­ing set­ting,” Robin­son said, adding the lessons include how to con­duct one­self around other co-work­ers and work as a team.

MAGNET agreed to part­ner with Lo­rain High School for this pilot program be­cause the in­fra­struc­ture was built into the new school, Robin­son said.

The school has had con­ver­sa­tions with MAGNET for about five years, Bo­gan said, in­clud­ing field trips, vis­its by man­u­fac­tur­ers, and six-week cour­ses dur­ing the sum­mer.

“But we were look­ing for some­thing more,” he said. “We did all the things lead­ing up to it, now it’s time to get into the in­tern­ship. We se­lected kids to make sure the program was go­ing to be a suc­cess. Cur­rently we have 14 stu­dents do­ing this. Of those 14, eight have been placed, with two more pos­si­bly placed (this week). We’re work­ing with (Robin­son) now on those last four place­ments. Our goal is to get ev­ery kid into in­tern­ships by the first of Oc­to­ber.”

The first stu­dent was placed three weeks ago at Nord­son, Bo­gan said. But prim­ing them for the po­si­tion hap­pened in the sum­mer with a solid works train­ing in 3-D mod­el­ing course taught by Bo­gan.

The youth al­ready are Col­lege Credit Plus stu­dents, and Bo­gan is an ad­junct pro­fes­sor at Lo­rain County Com­mu­nity Col­lege, so they earned col­lege credit for the course as well, he said.

“That is the pri­mary rea­son we­wanted to work with Lo­rain High School,” Robin­son said. “That im­pressed us as MAGNET, be­cause a lot of school districts aren’t able to pivot like that. And Lo­rain County Com­mu­nity Col­lege is the col­lege part­ner for this.”

In or­der to be se­lected for an in­tern­ship, the high school stu­dents are sit­ting down for in­ter­views with the top hu­man re­sources and en­gi­neer­ing manag-

ers at the cor­po­ra­tions, Bo­gan said.

“Think of that pres­sure,” he said.

An­other col­lab­o­ra­tion with First Stu­dent and a $20,000 grant from Nord­son Foun­da­tion pro­vided bus trans­porta­tion to and from the com­pa­nies two days a week, Moreck said.

One day a week MAGNET will bring in a wrap­around, sup­port in­tern spe­cial­ist to talk to the kids and find out how things are go­ing at the job site, at school and at home, Bo­gan said.

Other nec­es­sary de­tails include sign­ing the stu­dents up for bank ac­counts be­cause most com­pa­nies re­quire di­rect de­posit. The stu­dents work four hours a day, two days a week with wages in the area of $10 an hour.

“I have to give credit to the com­pa­nies,” he said. “They’re deal­ing with the kids. Also, these com­pa­nies have strong unions. Kids are com­ing in un­der age 18.”

There’s an un­der­stand­ing the in­tern­ships will ben­e­fit the com­pa­nies and unions in the long run, Bo­gan said, be­cause they will have fu­ture em­ploy­ees.

The in­tern­ships are stren­u­ous, be­cause the stu­dents al­ready are study­ing com­put­ers in man­u­fac­tur­ing and tech­ni­cal prob­lem solv­ing, Bo­gan said.

“These kids have full loads now,” he said. “They’re al­ready in Col­lege

Credit Plus. I also have to give credit to the band di­rec­tor, the foot­ball coach, and the soc­cer coach. This op­por­tu­nity takes prece­dence. These kids will catch up.”

The stu­dents also re­ceive in­dus­try rec­og­nized cre­den­tials and work keys, Robin­son said.

And be­cause most of the com­pa­nies include credit re­im­burse­ment, the stu­dents from Lo­rain could end up with col­lege de­grees paid for by the work­place, he said.

In the en­gi­neer­ing field, a col­lege ed­u­ca­tion could eas­ily cost $100,000, Bo­gan said, which could mean col­lege loans.

“We have pro­vided a non­tra­di­tional path to that same thing,” he said.

A goal is to place 15 to 20 stu­dents in the program each year, Bo­gan said, so the district is look­ing for other com­pa­nies will­ing to serve as host sites.

Later the district may ex­pand in­tern­ships to other ca­reer tech­ni­cal pro­grams, such as weld­ing.

“What (Robin­son) and MAGNET bring to us is a tem­plate that will work for ev­ery other program,” Moreck said. “Not that we’re not plac­ing stu­dents now, but we could place

more.”

And it’s aligned with Ohio ed­u­ca­tion stan­dards and al­ter­na­tive path­ways for grad­u­a­tion, Robin­son said.

“What’s in the best in­ter­est of stu­dents?” he said. “This is just a model, and man­u­fac­tur­ing is more used to the ap­pren­tice­ship model. This for man­u­fac­tur­ing is a throw­back, but it’s also new. This can ap­ply for in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy, health­care, and the con­struc­tion trades. It can be a model across mul­ti­ple in­dus­tries.”

For other districts con­sid­er­ing sim­i­lar op­por­tu­ni­ties, the program costs $50,000 to $75,000, with trans­porta­tion cost­ing up to $20,000, Robin­son said.

“Ev­ery county we’re in, we’re part­ner­ing with those com­mu­nity col­leges,” he said. “We don’t want any stu­dent to go into a pro­fes­sion with a glass ceil­ing.”

Su­per­in­ten­dents in­ter­ested in pro­vid­ing in­tern­ships for their stu­dents can send an email to Robin­son at ter­rence.robin­son@mag­net­work.org.

“We have a great team of part­ners,” Robin­son said. “This is a jewel. It’s not just a JVS. It’s a com­pre­hen­sive high school with the ca­reer tech. It’s awe­some.”

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