The Power of Partnerships: Roosevelt Community Education Center modernizes its manufacturing space
In early spring 2023, Roosevelt was approached by one of our Industry Partners for the Production Academy. With a simple proposal, Scott Jerie, Vice President at Jerhen Industries, wanted to transform the space to match the workspace conditions of modern manufacturing. Recognizing that the future of his workforce depends on the ability to hire RPS 205 graduates, Scott began to rally support. He called together a team of manufacturers including Justin Franklin of Kadon Precision Machining, Lucas Derry of Header Die and Tool, and Dan McKee of Rockford Toolcraft.
Industry partnership is vital to the health of Career and Technical Education (CTE). While every curriculum changes with time, whether through scientific discovery, mathematical breakthroughs, or advances in understanding how the human brain works, but CTE curriculum changes with the ever-changing industries that surround our now global economy. As such, CTE curriculums need constant advisory and direction from those who are on the front lines of industry. At RPS 205, we strive to build these kinds of partnerships. Partnerships that are living, active, and engaging. Industry partnerships ensure that the experiences we are giving our students (job shadows, site visits, classroom speakers, etc.) actively represent the modern state of the industries that are a part of our College and Career Academies. Our goal is for students to leave high school prepared to pursue high-demand, high-wage careers.
The team and I began to evaluate the needs of Roosevelt’s manufacturing space. We identified a need for a different and more efficient layout of the machinery. The team was able to update the lighting to brighter LED lights and raise them up to create more space. There was a need for new paint on the ceiling & walls and a new epoxy floor.
Most importantly, there was a need for a CTE teacher to lead the classes. RPS 205 was able to hire David Holder, a machinist with 12 years of experience. David was able to give his input on the layout and design of his classroom. He doesn’t just have an updated classroom now, but he now has a network of machinists from four different companies that he is able to call upon for a variety of work-based learning experiences for his students.
This is the power of industry partnership with education!
Roosevelt would like to thank Jerhen Industries, Kadon Precision Machining, Header Die & Tool, and Rockford Toolcraft for their investment in this project, and their continued investment in the students of Roosevelt Community Education Center and RPS 205.
Scott Sevey is the Director of Career & Technical Education for RPS 205, and a CALC Fellow (Career Academy Leaders’ Collaborative) with the National Career Academy Coalition. He is passionate about helping our students to leave RPS 205 college, career, and life ready.