OEM Fabricators: Partners with Baldwin-Woodville School District and WITC to promote manufacturing as a potential career choice

For Immediate Release
December 10, 2012

For more information contact:
Maureen Carlson, Director of Communications and Marketing
[email protected]

The Baldwin-Woodville School District, OEM and Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College (WITC) created the Manufacturing Careers Pathway Partnership in 2010 to provide educational opportunities and exposure to advanced manufacturing as a great career to students in high school. The pathway program is made up of many elements including:

career exploration
job shadowing
youth employment
state of the art training facilities
dual enrollment
tuition assistance

The Baldwin-Woodville School District has been a true leader in this effort. The district understands the importance of offering exposure to advanced manufacturing in high school so students can learn about all of the opportunities that exist in manufacturing as a possible career choice. Over the past five years the school district has:

Purchased a new plotter to print blueprints for Architectural and Mechanical Drafting
Purchased SolidWorks so that students can work on the same 3D CAD system used by industry
Purchased a Laser Engraver to use as an instructional aid and to use to help raise funds for the technical education department
Purchased a new set of textbooks for the Automotive Technology Class
Expanded the computer lab in our area from 16 seats to 20 seats and has purchased 30 new computers and permanent stations

Additionally, the Baldwin/Woodville School District recently committed $40,000 to the technical education department to purchase a new CNC Mill and OEM has contributed new welding equipment and a new Haas CNC Lathe to support the program. This year alone OEM’s contribution to the technical education program at the Baldwin-Woodville High School has exceeded $50,000.00.

The Manufacturing Careers Pathway Partnership begins with career exploration for 8th and 9th grade students. Students are taught science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) in context so they can experience how each of these subjects relate to manufacturing operations. Students choose a career path in their junior year and take college level courses earning credit toward their high school diploma and their technical college degree at the same time. Students begin to work part-time in OEM’s shop as juniors and continue until they graduate from their technical college program. This provides students with income while in school and the tuition reimbursement program effectively covers the cost of their technical college experience. This program is a tremendous win-win-win for students, parents, the school district and OEM.

Baldwin Woodville High School with OEMs assistance, are in the process of developing a for profit business that will be embedded in the technical education department at the school. This will allow the Manufacturing Careers Pathway to sustain itself by reaching into the business community for real world work and generating an ongoing revenue stream that is not dependent on the local taxpayers and school levy.

According to Mark Tyler, president of OEM Fabricators, “I commend the Baldwin-Woodville School District for its leadership and commitment to fostering the exposure to manufacturing as a career option. The school districts efforts to offer students the opportunity to learn about all the potential career opportunities are being applauded and revered by school districts throughout the state of Wisconsin.”