Save the Date
January 22, 2013
Education Gears Up
Through Core Plus
Old Machine Shop Made New at Rainier Beach H.S.
Posted: January 8, 2013
The Rainier Beach High School machine shop in south Seattle was mothballed for almost as long as Carlos Sanchez had been alive.
But when the doors for the revamped shop re-opened in September, Carlos was among the first students who walked in. Four months later, his only complaint is he didn’t find it sooner.
“I wish I could have started this when I was younger,” he says. “I’m trying to learn as much as I can, while I can.”
Like Yogi Berra said, the great thing about the future is it's all still in front of us, and, at age 16, Carlos has more time than most of us to build up his career skills.
But this is about more than one inspired student and one new shop program.
Carlos is one of 500 students at 19 high schools across Washington participating in Core Plus, a new industry-driven curriculum in advanced manufacturing that is being introduced throughout the state during the 2012-2013 school year.
The “Core” of the curriculum is based on the basic knowledge and skills required to become an entry-level airframe assembly mechanic. It was put together by instructors from The Boeing Company in tandem with a group of veteran vocational educators from the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI).
The “Plus” is being developed with input from representatives for a growing list of more than 50 companies that so far includes AIM Aerospace, Breedt Production Tooling, Energy Industries, GM Nameplate, Machinists Inc., NW Grating, Nucor Steel Seattle, and the Pacific Fishermen Shipyard.
Based on review by these companies and others, it appears Core Plus will enable successful students to prepare themselves for careers in assembling or maintaining airplanes; building or repairing ships, boats or trucks; metal fabricating or machining; specialty trade construction; energy distribution and generation; agricultural services, forestry, and industrial-grade logistics.
Those sectors account for almost the entire production side of the state economy and it is populated by thousands of companies of all types and sizes who need new employees, both now and in the future. Core Plus looks like a curriculum that can begin to connect these workforce needs with career opportunities sought by young people like Carlos.
He says the class is harder than he expected. That’s one reason he likes it. “It’s more challenging than I thought it would be,” he says. “But it feels good knowing that you are doing something in school that can help you later on in life.”
For all these reasons, Core Plus may be the best news about education in the State of Washington that almost no one has ever heard of.
If you, your company or group would like to become part of the Core Plus initiative, plan to attend Manufacturing 101, Tuesday, January 22, 4-5:30 p.m. The event coincides with the 2013 Annual Meeting of the Manufacturing Industrial Council and it will be held in the auditorium of the Gene J. Colin Building at 6737 Corson Avenue S., at the south end of the Georgetown campus of South Seattle Community College.
You can learn more about the genesis of Core Plus here, or by attending the event. Details below.
Posted: January 8, 2013
State School Superintendent Randy Dorn and Seattle Community College District Chancellor Jill Wakefield are guest speakers Tuesday, January 22, at Manufacturing 101, an event from 4-5:30 p.m. that will highlight good news and new opportunities emerging in the realm of industrial arts.
Nobody uses that phrase anymore because terms like “industrial” or “vocational” were long ago scrubbed from the education lexicon in the drive to emphasize the value of baccalaureate college degrees. But, industrial training never really went away and Dorn and Wakefield are leaders in two new promising efforts for manufacturing and other industrial sectors requiring similar skills.
Under Dorn’s leadership, the K-12 system is re-emphasizing the value and availability of Career and Technical Education (CTE) including the new Core Plus manufacturing curriculum.
Wakefield is part of a new effort in adult education called Pathways to Careers which includes a new fulltime, 12-week course in diversified manufacturing that was developed with industry support at the Georgetown campus of South Seattle Community College. The first group of graduates from the adult program will be entering the job market in February. Two more classes will be conducted over the next few months to determine if or how the program might become permanent.
Core Plus and Pathways to Careers are tied together by an industrial business advisory process that so far includes input from more than 50 companies.
Outcomes and next steps will be covered at the January 22 event. The forum is called Manufacturing 101 because it is the first in a series of events over the next 12 months that will monitor and report on the work plan for fulfilling shared goals and objectives.
The forum is sponsored by the Manufacturing Industrial Council in partnership with the Seattle Community College District and the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). Corporate cosponsors including Boeing, Burlington-Northern Santa Fe, Nucor Steel Seattle and Verallia-Saint Gobain.
RSVP by calling Christine Jones at 207-762-2470, or by email at Christine@seattleindustry.org.
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