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O-F Tech Education Student Tour with Darley
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Just Ask Engineering: Why is Darley involved with Technical Education in schools? ​

DeWitz, Tim_2015
Tim Dewitz, Staff Manufacturing Engineer

Question from Dave Thompson, Machine tool Instructor/Program Director:
What is Darley doing to attract CNC operators and tradespeople? 

It is important for manufacturers like W. S. Darley & Co. to be involved with technical education, and there are also many ways to support the programs. World-class manufacturers like W. S. Darley and Co., being involved in the classroom help to create a prepared workforce. There is a dire need for the expertise of businesses to educate students in a way that is real, relevant, and useful. Partnering with schools can also help improve a company’s community presence. When companies partner with schools, an increased awareness of their company and product is created among students, parents, school staff and other community members. Partnering with schools can help address many educational goals such as the ability to stay current with workforce technological changes while helping schools meet their budgetary needs.

Manufacturers can provide many benefits to the educational system. Some are familiar, some may be new to a campus. Internships are a fantastic way for both parties to try each other out with no long-term commitment. The intern obtains real world experience while helping fill labor gaps. Inviting experts from industry to assist in educational machining labs can provide enhanced knowledge on emerging technologies. The use of advisory boards can help focus curriculum on skills needed, allowing students accelerated access to career opportunities.

Budget impacts can happen through donations of material. Unused excess bar stock and end cuts too short for normal production can be especially useful to technical education labs, providing material for machining by students. Unused equipment taking up valuable floor space collecting dust, can sometimes be more valuable being repurposed into an educational lab setting.

Lastly, there are a lot of misconceptions about working conditions found in industry that can best be addressed by seeing it in person. Guided shop tours allow students the opportunity to see firsthand the brightly lit, comfortably heated, and air-conditioned work environment. LED lighting makes it very cost-effective and efficient for shops to be well lit. Efficient heating and air conditioning make it possible to hold a comfortable working temperature that is also better for maintaining tighter, more precise machining tolerances for closer fits. Mist collection and air purification have improved the air quality. Automation and lifting aids and hoists reduce the physical strain on the worker’s bodies. Guided shop tours for students will show all this and more and can be a lot of fun for both the company and the students. The students really are our future and our legacy.

 

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