Jamestown High School students recently took a guided tour of Cummins Jamestown Engine Plant (JEP) as an introduction to the Adopt-a-School Program. The tour was part of a unique collaboration between JEP, Dream It DO IT.™ Western New York, and JHS that aims to educate students about the different types of manufacturing careers that are available, with an emphasis on the opportunities that exist right here in Chautauqua County. This is just the first in a series of meetings between JHS students and Cummins employees, both at the plant, and at the high school.
“Through these efforts, students will be better equipped to make informed decisions about their future careers,” said Justin Hanft from Dream It. DO IT.™ WNY. By educating our youth about what manufacturing is and isn’t, it will help to eliminate many of the potential hidden costs to college, like extra college semesters from the ‘taste-test approach’ of switching majors. Providing students with the recipe for opportunity, along with the ingredients to be successful, is how Dream It DO IT.™ will accomplish its mission and help to strengthen the skilled workforce pipeline in manufacturing careers.”
JHS teachers identified seniors who would be good candidates for the program, especially those who are interested in the engineering field, and asked them to complete an application to earn a seat in the program.
“I knew of Cummins but had no idea how big it was and how many people it employed. This program is just a great opportunity to learn more about a globally-recognized business that’s right here where we live,” said JHS senior Chris Hernandez. “It’s great that Cummins is offering this program so that we can see and learn more about manufacturing opportunities.”
During JEP tours, students will increase their awareness of what happens in a manufacturing environment and be exposed to lean manufacturing, safety, ergonomics, quality control, statistical problem-solving, and a flavor for what is involved in a Cummins engineer’s job. Cummins’ Human Resources will also instruct students on resume writing and behavioral interviewing to help prepare them for the job market.
“I decided to apply for the program because there is a possibility that I might go into engineering,” said JHS senior Matt Nazzaro. “I didn’t want to pass up this opportunity to learn more and also have this experience as part of my transcript.”
“Last year, we were approached by Dream It. DO IT.™ to adopt their first area school,” said Angie Peck, Jamestown Engine Plant Corporate Responsibility. “This was such a success that they we asked to adopt the largest area high school, JHS, this year. This program was developed to help meet the growing need for local engineering talent. It is increasingly difficult to hire skilled engineers that want to live in Western New York. This program educates area youth that a career in engineering can lead to good employment here at home.”
“For a high school senior to be able to interact with engineering professionals while learning about the inner workings of a company such as Cummins takes the term college and career preparation to another level. This experience far exceeds anything we could have ever provided independently for these students,” said JHS Principal, Mike McElrath.
At the end of the program graduating seniors who are enrolled in a college engineering program are offered the opportunity to apply and interview for Summer Student-to-Work Internship with Cummins, a once in a lifetime opportunity for JHS students.