WAUKESHA — Three
more Waukesha County school districts have been named as recipients
of the Department of Workforce Development’s Wisconsin Fast Forward
Advanced Manufacturing Technical Education Equipment grant. The
Wisconsin Fast Forward grant program is attempting to cultivate a
strong environment for private sector job creation by helping
businesses and other workforce training partners train highly
skilled workers to fill current job openings and meet ongoing skill
School District was awarded $15,100 that will be used at Waukesha
West High School. The district plans to use the money towards the
purchase of a Tormach CNC Mill, updating welding equipment,
redesigning the classroom lab for increased workflow and efficiency,
and remodeling a room for storing materials and equipment.
About two years
ago, West added a state-of-theart plasma cutter, but much of the
remaining metals equipment was aging. In addition, each of the other
high schools had a CNC mill, while West did not. Based on feedback
the district received from employers and technical colleges, CNC
machinists and programmers are in high demand.
“The ability to
introduce this equipment to students while in high school and
increase their exposure to careers within this pathway is part of
the goal for the grant,” said Career and Technical Education
Coordinator Millie Haubenchild.
Union High School District received $49,000 in funding from the
state. Arrowhead High School will be using its share of the grant
money to partially fund a new metal hydraulic shear.
Arrowhead High School’s North Campus Education Metal Facility was
updated with a new classroom. Some updates were also made to the
metal lab where the shear will be installed.
“In order to
effectively teach the needed technical skills, our students cannot
be working on equipment from the 1960s,” said Director of Learning
Sue Casetta. “By modernizing equipment and facilities to better
reflect the work environment of these high demand fields, students
see these fields as potential career choices.”
The last county
school district gifted with Wisconsin Fast Forward funding is the
School District of New Berlin with $50,000.
The funding will
go toward a program called “How Machines Work.” Supplies including
tabletop mechatronics units, vacuum thermoformers and parts,
software and stock materials.
Work” will allow students to make various products using different
machinery aligned with high-demand manufacturing processes. The
course will cover how manufacturing and Industry 4.0 (a current
industrial transformation) is impacting the manufacturing industry.
“The SDNB is
committed to ensuring students understand a wide variety of
opportunities available in manufacturing to support current and
future labor market demand,” said Superintendent Joe Garza.