This Morning: New opportunities for high school students interested in manufacturing


Monday kicked off manufacturing week.

A time Governor Rick Snyder dedicated to getting students thinking about jobs in the manufacturing industry.

Hundreds of events are happening around the state.

One of them, here in mid-Michigan.

The official opening and ribbon cutting ceremony will be held today in honor of the newly designed William & Claire Dart Advanced Manufacturing Center for training high school students in the areas of Engineering, Precision Machining and Welding.

The Dart Foundation provided a $700,000 matching grant to allow Ingham Intermediate School District to renovate and upgrade classroom labs for the manufacturing programs at the Wilson Talent Center. 

The ribbon cutting will take place at 10 a.m. on the Ingham ISD Campus on Oct. 3rd.

Any student in Ingham County interested in manufacturing can take advantage of the renovations through the programs.

Over the past year, officials have been hard at work renovating a new center for students.

It was a $2.2 million project that includes upgraded classrooms for students. 

In addition there’s a brand new lab and a quality control room where students can test out projects in a sterile environment.

The center’s executive director says not only were the upgrades used to bring manufacturing students together on campus, but it’s also giving students a real-world experience outside of a normal high school classroom.

“Kids who don’t necessarily always have a clear vision on what they want to do or they struggle in school, now they’re taking all this stuff that they’ve learned in they’re putting it together and using it in different ways particularly the math piece. They’re using all that math that they’ve learned all these years and now they’re actually getting a chance to apply it,” says Executive Director, CTE, Jamie Engel.

According to state officials, there are more than $100,000 career openings in the manufacturing industry in Michigan through the year 2024.

There’s also a workplace learning piece to the programs. 

High schoolers can work with leaders in the industry to determine if the field is right for them before they graduate.

“They understand what it is, what they’re going to be working on and how things operate. So that they can make the right decision of where they want to go. i.e. whether it’s a particular industry they want to go into or facets or extra training that they want to go into and move forward within their career,” says Engel.

For more information on how your child can get involved, head to the Wilson Talent Center website.

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