I was asked to write a blurb about how my program makes connections to the outside world. Establishing connections is an endeavor I have gotten better at every year. Establishing connections does not come without challenges. Conflicting school schedules, and arranging valuable opportunities for students, as well as arranging consultations without compensation have all been roadblocks in this endeavor. That said, I, and many other teachers have been able to encourage close friends, cold call companies, and make opportunities happen.
Here are some connections I have been able to establish with and for my students.
Systems Control is a large employer in the area, specializing in building metallic transfer stations for power companies all around the world. We work with Systems to offer the same welding samples that are expected of their new hires.
LP Building Products is another local employer eager to hire well-rounded candidates. Our relationship is developing in a way that will offer students plant tours and job shadows. Their industry input is collected and utilized when making curriculum decisions.
Industry professionals come in to our classroom to speak of the qualities they want in employees and to offer demonstrations of specific skills. A local fabrication company demonstrates welding skills; a local mason, Brad, is coming in to demonstrate masonry skills; a local engineer, Craig, comes in and works with our CAD students on good 3D modeling practices. Last year, Craig helped prepare students for the CAD skills competition we participate in. On the day of the competition, Craig was able to arrange a tour of the surgical implant manufacturing facility at which he works for our student competitors, so they could see the skills they’d been practicing in a real-world application.
Our program cares deeply about the success of our students and knows that success comes from connections and awareness. Through the examples listed above, and with the implementation of many new ideas, the program is able to accomplish building connections and increasing student awareness.
If you are an employer or industry rep who would like to establish a relationship with our program focused on increasing trade awareness and trade employment opportunities, please contact me through any of my social media or at firstname.lastname@example.org.