A New Partnership
This summer a new group started meeting monthly at school. The goal? Promote and expand access to the trades for students at Central High School.
In 2020, the Central Public Schools Board of Education adopted a 5-year strategic plan. One of the main initiatives was to "expand opportunities for increased achievement". Andrea Kolstad and Mike Kray, teachers at Central, led the sub-group to develop action plans to achieve this. The idea of the Central Trades Advisory Group was hatched.
Leaders from Sackett-Waconia, Lano Equipment, Storms Manufacturing, Modern Design, and Bongards as well as city and district representatives, meet regularly to discuss ways to partner to expose students to career opportunities. The idea to bring groups of students into businesses for the NYA Manufacturing Today Event on Friday, October 15 came from this group. Students in grades 11 and 12 will get a behind the scenes look at what it takes to work at one of these local businesses, and that's good news for the hiring managers.
The school and business partners are also looking at other ways to work with each other. "It's nearly impossible for the school to stay current on the latest laser cutter or engine software, or to have a large scale wood working shop", says Superintendent Timothy Schochenmaier. "What we are looking at doing is bringing our students to the equipment in the business to learn from industry experts on industry standard equipment." The businesses are all in on the idea!
Just this past year, Sackett-Waconia hired two Central graduates at their NYA facility. Those students found out about opportunities by partnering with Sackett by having their welders help in the school's welding class.
Schochenmaier continues, "These are great paying jobs in our community. We are looking to expand what we have started with Sackett to other business partners."
Stay tuned for updates as the school expands these opportunities for students!