At a Glance
Staff from North Montco Technical Career Center formed a partnership with the Metal Service Center Institute to implement strategies for improving CTE program enrollment and overall industry perception.
Despite the fact that local employers continually ask North Montco Technical Career Center (NMTCC) to provide more entry-level machinists, secondary enrollment in the NMTCC Precision Machining program has been undersubscribed for several years. In fact, due to low enrollment, the program was placed on “Probationary Status” for 2012-14, and was at risk of being reduced to half-time status, or potentially closed.
In 2013-14, utilizing the school’s root-cause analysis model, administrators identified several likely causes for low enrollment in the Precision Machining program. Among these were a lack of strong industry support for the program, outdated marketing/recruiting materials, and misperceptions about the industry among prospective students and parents.
Staff from NMTCC have been working in partnership with the Metals Service Center Institute (MSCI) to address these concerns. This partnership began in 2012, after NMTCC representatives participated in a round table discussion on increasing interest of students in the machining and manufacturing industries. MSCI established a five-year, $15,000 grant to help NMTCC recruit students for the Manufacturing Cluster. First year monies from the MSCI grant were used to create a Precision Machining promotional video. In addition, MSCI provides visits to local and major manufacturers, outreach through social media and other means, input by participating in open houses, Occupational Advisory Committee (OAC) membership, speakers, and in-house demonstrations by local business and industry.
Some of the strategies being implemented are:
- MSCI-sponsored Manufacturing Career Awareness night where industry professionals presented information about the wide variety of machining and manufacturing careers available to students. This was held in conjunction with the school’s New Student Parent Orientation Night.
- MSCI-sponsored visits to local and major manufacturers
- MSCI and business and industry representatives present at in-school open houses
- Increased participation of MSCI and business and industry representatives on Occupational Advisory Committees
- MSCI and business and industry representative participation as guest speakers at the NMTCC and school districts
- Increased visibility of the NMTCC and MSCI partnership through local print media
Origin / Implementation
NMTCC administrators wanted to respond to the needs of local employers and industry partners who were looking for more entry-level machinists with the requisite skills they need to stay productive and profitable. They are working together with MSCI to increase enrollment in the Precision Machining program through enhanced recruiting strategies and efforts to change public perception that the machining and manufacturing industries are dirty, menial, low paying jobs that offer little job security or advancement.
Results / Impact
In 2013-14, total secondary enrollment for all three sessions was 25 secondary students and eight adult students. This is 63 percent of secondary program capacity.
In 2014-15, total secondary enrollment for all three sessions was 36 secondary students and one adult student. This represents 90 percent of secondary program capacity.
North Montco Technical Career Center
Robert Lacivita, Curriculum Specialist