Students Learn Practical Side of Jobs Trip to Convention Exposes Teens to Applied Technology World
Galloro, Vince, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Byline: Vince Galloro Daily Herald Staff Writer
Glamorous, they're not.
But manufacturing technology programs at local high schools are effective, local educators say.
They place students into good-paying jobs with employers who gladly pay for more training and education to lure well-prepared - and scarce - workers.
Some students from Elk Grove and Streamwood high schools will take a closer look at those opportunities Tuesday when they head to the International Manufacturing Technology Show at McCormick Place in Chicago.
With their business mentors - Kaiser Precision Tooling Inc. in Elk Grove Village and Machinery Systems Inc. in Schaumburg - the students will see the latest in robotics, tool and dye manufacturing, metallurgy, mechanical engineering, laser applications and fiber optics.
Mike Sons, head of the business, technology and life studies division at Elk Grove, says the high-tech show proves that manufacturing technology careers are just as respectable as other professions.
"It's just some of these things the kids have never seen, laser cutting, the qualities and accuracies that are used in industry," Sons said.
"We jumped at the chance to see all the latest machinery," says Bob Gorlewski, machine tool instructor at Streamwood.
"With the decision-making process as difficult as it is, and getting more difficult, it's great to have businesses opening their doors and letting kids in to take a look," Sons said.
Students sometimes become interested in becoming doctors or lawyers without ever considering jobs in growing fields requiring skilled workers, he said.
Worse yet, Sons said, many four-year colleges don't count high school technology courses toward fulfilling entrance requirements.
Colleges often don't recognize the practical value to a mechanical engineer to learn how to operate intricate metal-cutting equipment, for instance, he said. …