Connecting Rival Schools via CNC Plasma Tables
It is with much excitement that the principals of EV-W and Kimball announce the awarding of a $50,000 grant to enhance the welding programs at both High Schools.
Bruce Kiehn and Nancy Bonnifield began working together on a LYFT Career Pathway grant in 2019 after a discussion about how to keep their welding programs current with industry standards. Both principals felt that the addition of a CNC plasma table would allow students to gain skills in CNC (computer numerical control) and prepare them for employment in the trades. "Our vision is to give students a classroom experience which mimics a “real world” manufacturing environment. With the current welding equipment, students are presently receiving basic foundational skills which is not thoroughly preparing them for careers in the trades."
The $50,000 grant will allow each school to purchase a CNC plasma table and provide training on the equipment to welding teachers. It is unique that the two schools will partner students both virtually and face-to-face to share their experiences, to brainstorm and problem solve, and to showcase their projects.
Additionally, a pathway has been created which leads to local employment in the trades. This pathway, with industry partner Coldspring, allows students to learn welding in the classroom, shadow employees at Coldspring, and potentially take advantage of a Manufacturing Pathway suite of four manufacturing courses with college credit from St. Cloud Technical & Community College.
Principals Kiehn and Bonnifield are from rival schools, however they look forward to seeing this partnership succeed. LYFT Career Pathway funding support was made available for this project through a 2017 Minnesota Legislative grant.