The Encore movement is a national effort to leverage the energy and experience of Americans who seek to fill community needs upon retirement or near the end of their primary careers. Launched in 2013 by the Cleveland Foundation, Encore Cleveland helps to connect and fund a network of organizations to provide experienced Greater Clevelanders with an array of meaningful opportunities in the community.
Through Encore Cleveland, WIRE-Net's Technical Corps Program (TCP) had great success in the welding lab at Max Hayes High School! Gary Dudich, a retired Journeyman Iron Worker, was able to build positive rapport with welding teacher Joseph McKay, Jr. and the 10th through 12th grade welding students. After orientation in the Technical Corps Program, Dudich assisted the teacher and students in the welding lab with general welding and preparing students for the American Welding Society (AWS) certification tests. 17 students earned a minimum of one AWS certification in Mig, Tig, Stick, and/or Flux-Cored Arc welding. McKay remarked that Dudich had a great impact on the students. Historically, one to two students earn certifications per academic year. The feedback from the students was also very positive.
17 students earned a minimum of one AWS certification in Mig, Tig, Stick, and/or Flux-Cored Arc welding
WIRE-Net's experience shows that the Encore Cleveland program can succeed. In our first year, we learned that the Technical Corps Program could be a welcomed asset at Max Hayes as well as other career technical high schools. Our principal accomplishment has been building rapport with teachers. It is critically important to get teacher buy-in and participation by
- Assisting with developing Project Based Learning (PBL)
- Accepting Technical Corps members into the classroom to assist with projects
- Understanding the Technical Corps members' role in the projects and classroom
Precision Machining, Welding, and Computer Aided Design and Drafting instructors are willing participants, and the principal at Max Hayes High, Kelly Wittman, is very supportive of the program.
Interested in sharing your work experience? WIRE-Net's Technical Corps Program is seeking adults with backgrounds in MANUFACTURING or AUTOMOTIVE. For more information, contact Jessica Westropp at 216.588.1444.