Creating environments wherein high school students earn school credits while learning a trade is something more and more school districts are moving toward. One such district is Green Bay Area Public Schools in Wisconsin.
The district has partnered with Georgia-Pacific and Bay Link Manufacturing, a local manufacturing business, to create a job shop within Green Bay's West High School.
"We have the technical skills that we teach the students in machining, CNC machining, programming, manual machining, welding and fabrication," Bay Link's coordinator, Andy Belongia, says. "The students [also] have been trained on making sales calls and even cold calls to companies we've never contacted before."
"Students are learning the skills that they need to work in a manufacturing business while also earning college and high school credits," says Lori Peacock, director of college, career and community readiness for the Green Bay Area Public School District. “Georgia-Pacific has helped us as far as with some donations [and] has given us equipment. They're always all-in with education.”
The students have become hot commodities as television news crews and even Scott Walker, Wisconsin’s governor and a 2016 presidential candidate, has stopped by. The skills the students acquire help make them more attractive to the workforce.
"[We've gained] employability skills that we've learned throughout he year, that really makes us important throughout the community," says Green Bay West High School senior, Alex Vandermeulen.