Now this is what I’m talking about!
Cardinal Manufacturing, located in Elva-Strum Central High School, Strum, Wisconsin is brimming with forward thinking and taking the manufacturing bull by the horns.
Cardinal Manufacturing runs its vocational program as a business and that just may be what’s driving its success. This student-run job shop has developed into one well-oiled machine. The program’s structure solves issues inherent to manufacturing programs and, in fact, may solve the skills struggle that the manufacturing industry faces presently.
Investments in capital equipment are an obstacle for any high school vocational manufacturing program. Programs with a high overhead struggle to defend their initiative and are consequently under-equipped. These programs have a narrow survival rate and send a bleak message to the students: why should anyone expect kids to be enthusiastic about manufacturing in light of their school’s apathy towards it.
Enter Craig Cegielski, a teacher at Elva-Strum, who thought up and proposed his ‘make lemonade out of lemons’ idea to the board. With the adaptation of his model, Craig quarterbacked the transformation of the school’s manufacturing program.
Why it‘s so adoptable and inarguably flawless:
Cardinal Manufacturing takes on contract machining work from commercial customers that helps fund the school’s program and due to profit sharing the students get paid. The students are making honest-to-goodness products, which means actual production instead of simulated production. Therefore the students are acquiring business sense to boot. This is experience that previously only apprenticeships had cultivated.
It’s All Cyclical: The machines that the shop houses were donations. Graduates of Cardinal who were hired by local manufacturers advocated the program. Employers realized the efforts of the school and in turn gave the program more support. Recognizing the prospective talent that the program was turning out, one manufacturer donated a machine that they use extensively within their company. What a brilliant and strategic move that ensures all the students coming through the program become familiar with their type of lathe controls. Success builds.
A Give and Take: Cardinal students only have a limited time for work so they can’t take much work away from area business. On the contrary, nearby shops see Cardinal as an invaluable resource for doing simple, small-batch work that otherwise isn’t cost effective for them.
Want to delve deeper into Cardinal Manufacturing? Then read “Does This School Have the Formula for Manufacturing Education?” featured on Modern Machine Shop or AJ Sweatt’s article that outlines Cardinal’s triumph .
Therese Yacenda is the Social Media Manager at Accelerated Buy Sell, Inc. and Manufacturing Web Solutions as well as a contributing author to the blog. She orchestrates the social media landscape for the “Accelerated Group of Companies” that provides tools and services to help manufacturers grow and exit strategies to maximize dollars when they are ready to retire or sell their manufacturing business. Accelerated’s group of companies that provide services to the manufacturing industry includes:
www.AcceleratedBuySell.com – Provides Online Industrial Auction Services, Used Equipment Auctions, Capital Equipment Auctions, Plant Liquidations, Industrial Plant Cleanout Services, Used Machinery Location Services, Certified Machine Tool and Equipment Appraisals, and more.
www.AcceleratedMfgBrokers.com – Specializes in Manufacturing Business Brokerage and Mergers and Acquisitions. We help manufacturers develop exit strategies to maximize retirement dollars, and successful manufacturers expand through acquisition of other manufacturing companies, product lines and customer lists. Manufacturing Companies for sale throughout the United States are listed on this site.
www.AcceleratedRE.com – Provides Industrial Real Estate Brokerage Services, Online Real Estate Auctions, Sealed Bid Real Estate Auctions and complete industrial facility cleanout services.
www.IgniteMfg.com – Provides funding for products made in the USA, and engineering/manufacturing educational needs through Crowd Funding.
www.MfgWebSolutions.com – Provides web development and social media services for manufacturers at under-market rates.
Therese Yacenda is a contributing author to:
blog.AcceleratedBuySell.com - A site that provides the latest manufacturing news, statistics and opinion. It also provides information on how to grow a manufacturing business, and what to do if you are a manufacturing company that needs to close.
MFGWebSolutions.com/blog - Provides the latest information on social media and web development for manufacturers. It gives manufacturers tips and tricks for boosting their web presence.