D211 Engineering & Manufacturing Advisory Council, Innovation Generation Grant Help Grow Program

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District 211 logoNew during the 2013-2014 school year is the manufacturing program. Part of the Applied Technology Department, this program introduces students to the field of manufacturing with courses designed to teach students the necessary skills to earn three certifications that will help students land a job after high school.

“Students will have the opportunity to come out of this class with nationally recognized industry certificates through the National Institute of Metal Working Skills,” said Palatine High School Applied Technology Department Chair Mark Hibner. “Students learn how to work machinery they would encounter in the real world, as well as professional skills and different techniques.”

There will eventually be three courses in the manufacturing track that will be offered for students sophomore level and higher. These courses are designed in conjunction with classes offered at Harper College, and District 211 is working with the college to offer dual-credit to their students. The D211 program was built with the goal of giving students the opportunity to enroll into a paid internship class at Harper College and into one of the four areas that Harper offers for study.  The District wanted to give students the opportunity to “earn while they learn,” upon graduation from D211.

The District is also looking at ways to expand this program further by creating the District 211 Engineering and Manufacturing Council, as well as with grant assistance. A grant for Advanced Manufacturing, Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM), and the Biomedical Engineering: an integrated approach to foundational learning in the twenty first century, is helping expand opportunities for students and the program. It is part of the Innovation Generation grant program from the Motorola Solutions Foundation, the charitable arm of Motorola Solutions, Inc.

“Manufacturing is now a high-skilled, high-wage career, which changes the perception of the field,” added Mr. Hibner. “It’s high tech and it’s cool. “Students will earn higher wages and will be more marketable to employers after this program.”