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Making students work ready

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NRHS senior Carter Vawarcz (right) shows off one of the pieces built in class to Bosch associate Bill Burkart during a recent tour of the NRHS metals/manufacturing shop. Also pictured are Bosch associates Tara Olson, Jason Newton and Candy Peterson, as well as NRHS principal Tom Wissink and tech ed teacher Tom LeQue. Jordan Willi / RiverTown Multimedia2 / 6
NRHS senior Carter Vawarcz shows off the metals/manufacturing shop’s new CNC lathe turning center to Bosch associates Tara Olson, Paul Lehman and Jason Newton during a recent tour of the shop. Jordan Willi / RiverTown Multimedia3 / 6
NRHS tech ed teacher Tom LeQue discusses the metals/manufacturing shop's newest piece of equipment, a CNC lathe turning center (pictured on right) with Bosch associates, including Candy Peterson (left) during a recent tour of the shop. Also pictured is NRHS student Colleen Rogers (center). Jordan Willi / RiverTown Multimedia4 / 6
Bosch associates recently toured the NRHS metals/manufacturing shop to see its new CNC lathe turning center, which was purchased using a grant from the Bosch Community Fund. Pictured are the Bosch associates as well as, principal Tom Wissink, tech ed teacher Tom LeQue and students in the NRHS Welding and Fabrication, and Machine Tool II classes. Jordan Willi / RiverTown Multimedia5 / 6
The NRHS metals/manufacturing shop recently added a new piece of equipment — a CNC lathe turning center — thanks to a grant from the Bosch Community Fund Grant. Jordan Willi / RiverTown Multimedia 6 / 6

Utilizing a $25,000 grant from Bosch Community Fund Grant, the New Richmond High School metals/manufacturing shop was able to add another piece to its workshop that will allow students to push their education even farther during their high school careers.

"My mission is to make students work ready, and post-secondary ready. The support from Bosch Packaging gives our students the opportunity to use machines that they will see in life after high school," said Technology Education teacher Tom LeQue. "Our facility is well equipped to give our students a great education. I will always push for the new equipment as it comes available. I am always looking for a new way to reach students and improve safety, quality and efficiency.

"The students that take New Richmond School District Technology Education classes are serious about their future and with new equipment like the CNC lathe turning center they are able to hone their skill sets into skills that employer's desire."

Associates from Bosch attended the official launching of the CNC Lathe Turning Center on Wednesday, May 8, to tour the shop and see what their grant offers students at NRHS, as well as allow students to demonstrate how they will use the new equipment in class.

"It is beneficial for students to showcase what they have learned. Networking with industry professionals can and has led to opportunities for students," LeQue said. "The new CNC will be used to get students excited about manufacturing. There are so many great opportunities and a demand for skilled workers. As an educator, I get great satisfaction out of helping shape students into quality active citizens."

The CNC Lathe Turning Center will also allow students who have completed their manual machine practices to continue their training.

"The CNC Lathe will give the students the opportunity to use their prior knowledge of Computer Aided Design, Computer Aided Machining and Manual machine skills to automate the machining process," LeQue said. "The lathe is also intended to gain student interest and provide the next step for our Machine Tool Students. The CNC lathe will allow our students to easily replicate parts while providing tight tolerances. The students are excited and are using the machine every day."

Bosch Packaging Technology - New Richmond human resources representative, Bill Burkart, said the tour of the high school's metals/manufacturing shop revealed the measures taken by the community to build superior STEM capabilities in the New Richmond area.

"What we saw was more than just the CNC lathe that Bosch helped purchase. What we saw was an entire shop that was designed well, equipped well and perfectly maintained, filled with bright students who not only knew what they were doing, but also took pride in their shop and their participation in the program," Burkart said. "The experience made it obvious that community leaders, businesses, school administrators and parents support STEM activities enough to make it worthwhile and exciting to young people."

As a potential employer for students working in the NRHS metals/manufacturing shop, Burkart feels the money Bosch has given the high school over the last two years has been well invested.

"I could see these students successfully working at Bosch, or really any local employer, someday. As I commented to the shop instructor 'A welder is not just a welder anymore.' Our Bosch associates are expected to not only have a trade skill, but also to be able to identify issues and opportunities in their areas," Burkart said. "As such, schools need to prepare students to think beyond just what they are doing with their hands, or the jobs they have in front of them and consider how what they do can be improved."

According to Bosch Program Officer Haley Eve, the Bosch Community Fund — the corporate foundation for Bosch in North America — was established in 2011 to provide community engagement and philanthropic support in Bosch site locations.

"The fund focuses on the enrichment of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education and advancing environmental sustainability initiatives. The fund operates on an invitation-only basis, and makes grants to 501(c)(3) organizations and educational institutions. Since 2012, the Fund has awarded over $400,000 in grants to organizations in the New Richmond area," Eve said. "The 2018 Bosch Community Fund grant award to New Richmond High School (NRHS) represents a second year of support for this program."

Jordan Willi
Jordan Willi is a reporter for the New Richmond News. Previously, he worked as a sports reporter at the Worthington Daily Globe in Worthington, Minnesota. He also interned at the Hudson Star Observer for two summers and contributed to the Bison Illustrated sports magazine at North Dakota State University.
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