ELDRIDGE, Iowa – Large companies in the Quad Cities have stepped in to help supply a local high school manufacturing class with the materials they need.
North Scott High School offers a manufacturing class where students can learn different aspects of business. The class is divided up into four divisions: finance, marketing, design and production.
“We want to put the students in a real world manufacturing situation,” said industrial technology teacher David Linnenbrink. He said the ultimate goal was to have students learn the skills to go into a trade.
To help the students get the hands-on experience the class offers, companies like John Deere and Olympic Steel donated materials for them to use.
“Our budget is really thin right now and these supplies are very expensive,” said Linnenbrink.
Students use the materials to make and sell their own goods. In the spring 2018 semester the students were making hitch covers. The design was inspired by North Scott’s mascot, the Lancers. They cut them, weld them to a metal base and then use a painting process called hydrodipping to finish them off.
In the spring 2018 semester, 16 students were enrolled in the class. Linnenbrink said they got to choose which aspect of the business they wanted to focus on.
For junior students like Joseph Brodersen and Grant Forsythe, they prefer the production side and are planning on careers in the field.
“It’s definitely an interesting career,” said Forsythe. “It’s definitely one that needs a lot of attention. We need a lot more people interested in it.”
“We do have a shortage in the skilled trades across the U.S. and we need students to go into the trades so that we have workers to do the jobs that need to be done,” said Linnenbrink.
“Everyone’s heading to the four-year degree and it’s leaving a large void for people to actually make the manufacturing goods,” Brodersen said. “I don’t have any question that I’ll be able to get a job.”
The students were asked by Olympic Steel to make two fire pits that would later be sold at auction. Those proceeds will go to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.