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Technical Corps Program: Defining the Next Chapter Through Encore Cleveland

Posted by Jessica Westropp on Sep 20, 2018 8:00:00 AM

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The Technical Corps Program (TCP) is an Encore Cleveland program that launched in 2015 as way to use the knowledge and skills of experienced technicians to teach young people the technical and professional skills needed to succeed in manufacturing careers.

The 2017-18 school year was a successful one for the program at Max S. Hayes High School. Six TCP members served over 1100 hours and over 200 students in machining, welding, building and property maintenance, and the diesel career pathways. TCP members helped students with several projects, including a small engine lesson provided by a grant from Great Lakes Towing Company, a welded model plane project, and various plumbing and electrical projects.  One TCP member this year, advised teachers and students on developing a SkillsUSA Chapter to offer students more opportunities to learn and practice personal, workplace, and technical skills.  

TCP Members Make an Impact

Ray Mayer was a welcome addition to the TCP team this year. Ray is a retired plumber from Ford Motor Company and a previous journeyman plumber. With Ray's gentle demeanor and easy nature, he easily engaged with the students in the building and property maintenance career pathway. Ray made various plumbing models for classroom lessons, such as a model water heater and faucet unit so that a visual aspect could be added for the students to learn more effectively.

 Ray - Water Heater

“When I saw WIRE-Net was looking for a retired trades person to assist high school students with plumbing, I knew I would enjoy it. I felt an instant connection because I attended Max S. Hayes High School during my five-year apprenticeship training. I am able to draw from my experiences with training apprentices and coaching youth sports to teach and work with young people,” said Ray.

Steve Schwind, retired journeyman electrician returned for his second year of TCP. Steve collaborated with Ray and assisted teachers with planning and executing projects. They also teamed up to focus on math, shop protocol, and increased 1:1 time with students.

Steve- Electrical Lesson

James Macdowell, building and property maintenance teacher said, “The students looked forward to the interaction and sharing of years of knowledge the men brought every day to the lessons they would instruct and were able to complete many complicated projects on time thanks to the hard work and dedication of these two men.”

As a result of this year’s TCP program there was a visible increase in student engagement and learning outcomes. This year’s members helped students earn a total of 20 welding certifications through the American Welding Society (AWS) and helped to launch the National Institute of Metalworking Standards (NIMS) certification process for machining students at Max S Hayes High School. At the end of the year 11 manufacturing graduates and four building and property maintenance graduates went on to pursue permanent employment in their career pathways.

Defining Your Next Chapter Through Encore Cleveland  

Manufacturing Works is looking for additional members for the new school year who are retired or in transition and have experience in welding or carpentry to serve a variety of roles, including subject matter experts and teacher assistants for the 2018-19 school year. To apply, please contact Jessica Westropp at 216.588.1444 or Jwestropp@mfgworkscle.org.


The Manufacturing Works Technical Corps Program is an opportunity through Encore Cleveland, supported by the Cleveland Foundation, whose mission is to channel the time, energy, and talents of experienced Clevelanders into solving community challenges and fulfilling unmet needs. TCP members mentor students to research, critically think, work collaboratively with others, and engage in cross-curricular studies. Members serve up to ten hours per week for a minimum of one academic semester (approximately 16 weeks) and are compensated for their time.
This year’s small engine plane projects were provided by a generous grant from the Great Lakes Towing Company.



For 30 years WIRE-Net has been a leading force to strengthen manufacturing in Greater Cleveland. That's not changing. What has changed is our name. We're now Manufacturing Works! We continue to provide leading edge expertise and resources that assist manufacturers in understanding and adapting to fast changing trends in technology, talent, and organizational leadership. Manufacturing Works connects leaders to each other and engages them in their communities.

Topics: The Cleveland Foundation, Max S. Hayes High School, Friends of Max Hayes, Technical Corps Program, Great Lakes Towing Company, #EncoreCLE

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