New London High School (NLHS) has a tradition of preparing students for the future through its Career and Technical Education (CTE) classes.
Industry continues to voice their concern for a lack of trained employees in manufacturing and the trades.
Step into any of the CTE classrooms from art with Bob Smith, to Brian Kurszewski with machining on CNC lathes and mills, Bob Oudenhoven using partnerships with Fox Valley Technical College and Kohler engines, Andy Fuhs in woodworking, Jeff Meske in MIG, TIG and arc welding, or Lisa Breaker with her specialties in graphics, desktop publishing and yearbook to see how NLHS staff are preparing the next generation to fill that demand.
With the New London School District retiring two icons in the tech ed department this past year – Gerry Bohm in metals, small engines and high mileage car projects and John Dailey in woodworking and cabinetry and building construction – administration was forced to offer more with less staff. Mr. Oudenhoven fits that need in that he not only teaches CTE classes, but also utilizes his social studies certification.
Within the welding class, students learn a variety of types of welding processes. With donations from Miller Electric in Appleton, the metals area has a variety of TIG, MIG, arc welders and Plasma cutters to give students current technology to gain skills for tomorrow’s jobs.
Most technical education classes require patience, skills in reading blueprints, attention to details/measurement and a basic knowledge of the processes. These skills have been dominated by our male workers, but females can also stand side by side and learn these skills.
Current senior Liz Macha is one of those examples in the welding class practicing her welding skills.
This past fall, a representative from the Tulsa, OK, Welding School highlighted some of the potential careers in welding: from hobby welding at home, to underwater, to creating the infrastructure for Wisconsin to maintain its manufacturing presence.
We need welders from local businesses like Steel King, Titan Industries, Neumetal, RE&D New London Engineering, to the fabricating of machines for Curwood and the maintenance of equipment at Larsen Cooperative.
New in the wood shop is Mr. Fuhs.
Teaching wood working is a lifelong dream of his after emphasizing graphics and desktop publishing in the past. What he is teaching is not new, but some of the projects his students are making are new.
In cabinet making, the students are making a DVD cabinet, a design where the students have learned the importance of size and how best to utilize lumber and limit waste.
In Intro to woods, the students are learning to use the equipment and producing clip boards, magazine tables and pens on the wood lathe. The students are having a lot of fun while learning useful skills.
Building construction is working on some cabinets for the high school and will be building some small utility sheds.
Change takes time, but the amount of change going on down in the CTE wing is never ending. We have learned that technology changes so fast that the best we can hope to do is keep up.
In a change for next year, NLHS is wrapping their classes and career choices into a new package called Career Academies.
In relying on community partnerships, students within the Science, Technology, Engineering, Agriculture and Math (STEAM) academy will be progressing thorough a sequence of class offerings to align themselves to future jobs and further education at technical colleges and universities. Teachers from core and encore areas (CTE areas) are collaborating in many new ways to offer rigor and relevance for the high school clients.
Besides STEAM, other academies to roll out in 2012 include Communications, Arts and Business (CAB) along with Health and Human Services Academy.
Do you have knowledge or business contacts to partner with our students and staff? Contact any of the above mentioned staff at New London High School or call the high school directory at 920-982-8420 to help our students get a jump start on exploring a career in their future with job shadows, apprenticeships and more.