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DPS Students Experience Advanced Manufacturing First Hand

10-2-14GirlWithVaccuumRobotStationIt’s January and that means it’s the start of the Spring semester and a whole new set of students will be exploring Intertech’s plant.  As many of you know, the growing skills gap in the advanced manufacturing sector is a looming threat on our business.  That’s why we partnered with Denver Public Schools (DPS) and their Career and Technical Education (CTE) program.  The Job Shadow Program is part of a larger movement within Denver Public Schools to broaden STEM pathways in secondary education and to compliment this curriculum with work-based learning experiences.

Intertech Plastics hosts 9th and 10th grade students from different DPS schools for a job shadowing event 3 times per semester, this is the second semester of the program’s existence.  Students are provided with hands on activities promoting the STEM curriculums being taught in schools in an effort to generate more interest in advanced manufacturing and engineering in young people

10-2-14StudentsLearnOEEinKaizenRoomToday 15 students took a hands on tour of our facility.  They learned about the types of jobs and careers available in an advanced manufacturing facility.  From machine operators to tool makers, marketers to accountants, students spoke with employees and Intertech and experienced hands on what these jobs entail.

These future workers got to explore what it’s like to work in a graphic design lab, move robots to make trash cans and hampers, and solved equations to determine the efficiency of the plant.  The goal is to give kids the opportunity to determine what they want in their careers by exploring a variety of options in various job sectors.

Seeing the students engaged and excited about the work we do is more than gratifying enough, but it’s not philanthropy.  This is good business.  We need to change the perception about working in manufacturing.  We need to change the stigma that’s out there and teach people that there are great career oppor10-2-14DaveLDRstationtunities in manufacturing.  These are good paying jobs with a lot of potential for upward movement and that’s the message we need to promote.

There’s  a lot to be done in terms of workforce development but this is a great start and Intertech is proud to be a proactive part of building America’s workforce.

Photos from top: Evelyn Servin, a DPS student, works with a vacuum end-arm tool to learn how the robot lifts the parts out of the machine. Students solve word problems using the OEE equations to determine how efficient the plant is operating.  Intertech Process Tech Dave Shurman teaches DPS students how to calculate the Let Down Ratio before mixing resin and colorant for a lip balm case.