Where Manufacturing Matters

Students Are Eager for Exposure and Real-World Experience

Posted by Jessica Westropp on Apr 22, 2019 12:00:00 PM

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Students in the manufacturing pathways at Max S. Hayes High School are eager for exposure and real-world experience. For over five years, Manufacturing Works’ has served as a workforce bridge between high school students and manufacturing companies to act as an internship liaison. Internships can be a win-win workforce recruitment strategy that companies have been seeking by providing a short-term work experience that could potentially lead to long term employment.

Currently, we focus on students in the machining, welding, and pre-engineering career pathways at Max S. Hayes High School in Cleveland. Welding training includes MIG, TIG, and Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW). Juniors and seniors are currently pursuing American Welding Society certifications in all three areas. In the machining lab, students focus on manual machining and then transition to Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machining the second semester of their junior year. A portion of the curriculum is geared towards the National Institute of Metalworking Standards (NIMS) credentials, which falls under the state certified pre-apprenticeship certificate that is open to machining students at the high school. Pre-engineering students complete projects on 3D modeling and robotics related to the manufacturing industries. All three pathways provide approximately 600 hours by graduation.

Companies who partner with us have found internships to be a fruitful way to help build their new employee pipeline. Internship hours and compensation vary based on the unique needs and capacity of the students and companies. Students must meet rigorous attendance and grade guidelines in order to participate in an internship. We understand that there can be concerns about liability that go along with hosting high school students. Our goal is to minimize those concerns so that businesses and students can both have a positive experience. One of the ways we are able to do this is by leveraging the exemption for manufacturing students at Max S. Hayes High School through Ohio Revised Code 4109.06 and the student liability certificate offered through the school district.

Carlos is a 12th grade intern that began with long time partner B&R Machine Co. during the summer of 2018. He is pursuing the pre-apprenticeship certificate through the state recognized machining program at the high school. Manufacturing Works’ began exposing Carlos to manufacturing his 9th grade year. He has worked diligently to be a leader in his class, learn the ins and outs of machining, and position himself to have a future in manufacturing. The career path plan for Carlos is to complete his internship and apply for permanent employment at B&R to grow as a machinist. Carlos also has an interest in applying for an apprenticeship program. 

We recently asked Carlos what he thought about his internship experience. “My internship at B&R Machine Company has increased my skills, especially in measuring parts and changing inserts. I also get to see firsthand real C.N.C operators programming and editing programs. I am glad  Mrs. Westropp helped me with this opportunity to have an internship and I feel like I am ready for the world that is waiting for me after school.”

Carlos- B&R

"Carlos always wears a smile, brings a learning attitude, and does what is asked of him every day. It has been a pleasure to witness his progress during his internship, " Bill Graham, Jr., Vice President of B&R Machine Company said. Graham has hosted a number of machining interns, with the most recent becoming a full time employee. He loves being a part of a student's development, giving them a glimpse at what the future holds.

The youth team at Manufacturing Works’ uses a workforce continuum with high school students like Carlos to allow them to be exposed to different facets of the industry. Also, this approach helps students stay engaged and provides an incentive for them to focus on both their professional and technical skills to prepare them for their path after graduation. One of the key components to the continuum is the collaboration with Jumpstart’s Emerging Talent Network (ETN).

The Emerging Talent Network launched in 2017 to connect qualified Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) 11th grade and emerging 12th grade students with local companies for summer internships and full-time employment. Manufacturing Works’ began partnering with ETN shortly after the program launched to leverage the program’s resources, CMSD relationships, and company relationships to meet the needs of the manufacturing students and companies we work with at Max S. Hayes High School.

As part of the larger KeyBank Business Boost & Build program—a program powered by JumpStart and funded via a grant from the KeyBank Foundation—the ETN helps cover the cost of summer intern salaries and also prepares them for career success by ensuring they have the appropriate attire, transportation options, work permits, bank accounts, and career readiness training.

Manufacturing Works’ team at Max S. Hayes High School helps the ETN secure qualified students for the internships. Manufacturing students recently interviewed for the ETN’s summer program with Oatey, Martindale Electric, Alloy Engineering, Melin Tool, Buschman Corporation, and OHM Advisors. Once students are selected and offered an internship, the company will develop a program that benefits both the company and students by offering an experience where students apply both technical and professional skills learned in the classroom. For the companies, this is one solution they are using to fill gaps in their talent pipeline.

Internships are critical to provide an opportunity for these students to work alongside industry experts to develop the skills needed to be successful in the welding, machining, and the engineering fields. Our work doesn’t “work” if we don’t have the support of business partners. We have some great partnerships with both companies and workforce partners like JumpStart, but we are looking to build more. Business partners can be classroom speakers and/or host students for plant tours, job shadowing events, and paid internships. You can read more about these programs here.

If you are interested in offering these opportunities to students, please contact Jessica Westropp at jwestropp@mfgworkscle.org or 216.588.1444.



For 30 years Manufacturing Works has been a leading force to strengthen manufacturing in Greater Cleveland. We provide leading edge expertise and resources that proactively assist manufacturers in understanding and adapting to fast changing trends in technology, talent, and organizational leadership.

Topics: Max S. Hayes High School, Internships, B&R Machine

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