LUXEMBURG, Wis. (WFRV) — The Luxemburg-Casco School District has received a grant to improve its technical education department courtesy of Wisconsin’s Department of Workforce Development.
The DWD says this award – a $50,000 Advanced Manufacturing Technical Education Equipment grant – is the largest to a single district.
Officials say the school district will use the grant to purchase equipment including a CNC lathe, a CNC vertical mill, an ironworker, and an air compressor.
Approximately 40 Luxemburg-Casco High School students are expected to benefit from the new equipment through expanded CNC manufacturing coursework beginning this school year, according to David Gordon, career and technical education coordinator for the district.
Glenn Schlender, Luxemburg-Casco School District Superintendent, says this grant will allow them to improve their technical education curriculum while giving students a chance to be exposed to the CNC equipment.
“Our students will benefit greatly from programmatic exposure to the CNC equipment that the district is purchasing with the grant funds, and it will add to our strong program of studies,” says Schlender.
Schlender adds D&S Machine Service and Olson Fabrication, community partners with the district, wrote letters of support for the grant and continue to assist in the classroom.
During the 2018-2019 academic year, three D&S employees helped teach students on a rotational basis.
“We want to continue to develop the workforce here in our local area,” says Russ Nowak, president of D&S Machine Service in Luxemburg. “The goal is for students to realize earlier that they want a career in manufacturing.”
Olson Fabrication, a custom metal fabricator in Algoma, has made a financial contribution as well as holding classroom tours of its facility.
A Luxemburg-Casco High School student was hired by Olson this past summer as a welder and fitter and will continue this position through the school year.
“There is a need to grow the next generation of welders,” says Shawn Olson, president of Olson Fabrication. “We need to teach them this profession. With an older workforce, it’s important to show students our business and let them know that these are good-paying jobs.”
The DWD says the grants are intended to address the state’s skilled worker shortage by allowing schools the opportunity to train high school students in advanced manufacturing fields which can accelerate student entry into the workforce.
Other area schools that received a grant through DWD include Waupaca, Coleman, Elkhart Lake-Glenbeulah, and Stockbridge. Overall, a total of $500,000 was awarded to 16 districts.
For more on all of the 2019 DWD grants, click here.