Business to Education
To strengthen our workforce with prepared and qualified professionals, future candidates must be identified and cultivated before graduating from high school. BCMA members are partnering with surrounding school districts to raise awareness of careers in manufacturing and technology among middle and high school students and their families. This is playing out in several practical ways.
In partnership with Abilene ISD, Rentech, Inc. has created internship positions for four high school students who have excelled in the Career and Technical Education welding program. This program will afford students high school credits, on-the-job-training, and a paycheck. For more information on this program and it’s impact in the Abilene community, go to: Rentech & AISD CTE: A Partnership That Prepares Students for Success | Abilene ISD News
Ludlum Measurements (LMI) participated in the Roscoe ISD Teacher Externship program. Through a grant from The University of Texas STEM Center, the program allowed teachers to shadow the staff of local businesses like LMI for 40 hours. Time spent in these authentic settings allowed educators to observe real-world skills critical to students’ future successes in various business functions. The teachers were then able to bring academic lessons to life with illustrations of real-world problems that students will someday solve by using their education in a manufacturing and technology setting.
BWJ Metalworks has worked in tandem with the Eula ISD to upgrade the welding program for its students. The joint project was coordinated with the local electric provider to install a new power supply into the shop for two new welding stations. The new stations were equipped with 3 phase power sources and Miller 450 series MIG wire feed welding machines. BWJ’s leadership has allowed Eula’s program to grow from 20 students to 50 students, allowed the students to be more competitive in state welding competitions, and now graduates are exiting the program with a stronger set of welding skills and hands-on experience.
BCMA members recognize that the Manufacturing and Technology community vies for best practices, equipment, and human capital, but banding together in an honest exchange of ideas and resources will strengthen companies. This team facilitates opportunities to share best practices for automation technologies and operations, as well as recruitment strategies for future talent. As these events happen, the BCMA is gathering input from Big Country manufacturers in order to generate a clear, unified message for educators and legislators concerning the needs of the manufacturing community in our region. Fulfilling the goal of bringing manufacturing businesses together, the B2B Team has:
- invited input from core manufacturers to layout the partnership’s structure and direction
- launched manufacturer-hosted quarterly meetings with the first event held at the US Gypsum facility
- been establishing the organization’s brand by developing the official BCMA logo
- created an on-line location for businesses in the area to connect through the BCMA website