Ready Schools visit student-run machine shop


The ROI team and the 2017 cohort of Ready Schools recently joined the Center of Excellence in Leadership of Learning (CELL) for a visit to Cardinal Manufacturing at Eleva-Strum Schools in Strum, Wisconsin. Cardinal Manufacturing is a student-run machine shop that teaches students needed technical or soft skills. These high school students learn to manage a project and a business. Designed as a vehicle to address the local skills gap in advanced manufacturing, Cardinal Manufacturing does welding, fabrication, and CNC machining for local companies and members of the community.

This visit is the second of several planned field trips to provide awarded schools and their community partners an opportunity to explore promising models first-hand. Awardees are gaining useful insight into possible approaches for their school systems as they work through the Ready Schools Development process.

Quotes from attendees:

“It was inspiring to observe what a small, rural school can accomplish when the school’s personnel work with local businesses and industry in a totally collaborative effort with the success of students being the most important end product. I was most impressed by the personal pride the students took in the entire Cardinal Manufacturing process.”

–Larry Tenbarge, Southwest Dubois County Readiness Coordinator

“The use of the 10 rules for success in a school-based business have created a culture of preparing students for success after high school.  This is a powerful example of how a simple cultural change can propel students into success after high school and encourage industry partners to support the school.”

– Rick Roll, Loogootee Readiness Coordinator

“Cardinal manufacturing is as successful in teaching students about the jobs and skills of manufacturing/business as they are at teaching life.  I appreciated the positive work environment, good communication, work ethic, and teamwork that I saw at Cardinal Manufacturing.”

–Christy Wrightsman, Brown County Readiness Coordinator

“The program underscores the importance for schools to communicate, become involved with, and to create partnerships with the business community.  This program creates synergies that engage students and prepare them with workplace skills that are in high demand.”

-Jim Mehling, Southeast Dubois County Readiness Coordinator

“I was very impressed with the level of student engagement that I witnessed on our trip to Cardinal Manufacturing.  Being exposed to how the instructor, Craig Cegielski, was using a student-run business structure to not only support student learning about the technical skills that students needed but to also teach and “coach” the necessary 21st-century skills, the 10 Commandments for Career Success, was very powerful.”
-Rick Gladish, Dubois County Readiness Coordinator

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