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Penn State DuBois Partners with Local High School

Penn State DuBois die setting instructor George Schneider, left, works with Saint Marys Area High School student Dakota Larkham to measure one of the parts produced during the high school die setter training program. 

A partnership between Penn State DuBois, the Saint Marys Area School District and Workforce Solutions for North Central Pennsylvania is helping build the workforce of tomorrow for the local metal manufacturing industry by helping students gain die-setting experience.

The need for skilled and highly trained manufacturing employees throughout the region has led to many new programs. In addition to the career exploration programs at every elementary school and middle school, the Saint Marys Area School District has brought a unique manufacturing program that has become a big success for the numerous students who participate, as well as the local companies who help support the program.

Dutch Manufacturing is a student-run manufacturing venture that joins high-technology education and hands-on manufacturing skills that give students a real-world business and manufacturing experience.

“Dutch Manufacturing provides students with a panoramic view of manufacturing in a module-based format, supplemented by site visits and internship opportunities as well as guest speakers, a pre-apprenticeship and additional industry connections,” Harley Ramsey, Saint Marys Area School District superintendent said. “The program is a six-course sequence that provides an overview of powder metallurgy and carbon, which are central to local industry, fundamentals of advanced manufacturing, introduction to manufacturing systems, mechatronic systems, digital manufacturing systems and advanced materials and design. These are just some of the skills that students learn during their time in Dutch Manufacturing.”

During the high school program, students gain classroom experience by using a state-of-the-art online learning system, purchased by the school district. Penn State Die Setter Instructor George Schneider provides 20-hours of hands on, straight-wall set up instruction in the school’s metal machining classroom on a compaction press. The small group of students work with Schneider during the normal Dutch Manufacturing class times and can repeat specific set-up processes to become productive workers in the field.

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