TEACHING THE INDUSTRIAL ARTS: WWW.WORKINGCLASSYORK.COM
INDUSTRIAL ARTS EDUCATION
Our evolving economy demands a skilled labor force. Success in modern industry requires a working knowledge of several allied fields in conjunction with creative thinking/problem solving abilities.
Through community partnerships our plan is to grow into a salvage material center/teaching center. A hub that keeps the industrial arts alive in York PA.
Our partnership is working to develop an educational facility that fosters a collaboration of Arts, Industry and Community.
- We seek to offer industrial arts and technical training programs designed to increase opportunities for workforce development, promote creative thinking, and foster innovative design.
- Education courses would provide hands on programming in the woodworking, glass and metalworking to prepare students for careers applying design and fabrication.
- Education and Industry as one. Project based learning by integrating a school with a Creative Fabrication Company. We are developing a fast tracked skills program where students learn on carefully selected fabrication projects for products and public space amenities. Together, we will produce our own line of unique street and park amenities, including bike racks, planters, benches, and trash cans for local municipalities; and in turn these projects serve as real world experience/training.
- Plan to offer below market rental opportunities provide both temporary and long-term studio and office space for individuals, companies and non-profits. In order for students, entrepreneurs and artists to prosper they cannot work in isolation—they need to connect with resources such as space, materials skills and a market.
- We acknowledge the deep industrial history of York and work to harness it once again to promote economic revitalization through creative means.
Where does this Educational model fit among existing technical training programs?
Existing programs are designed for those who have made a clear decision to pursue a specific technical career path. From the high expense to the level of commitment to one specific skill set, many people are intimidated by the singular focus when they only wish to explore. Without the opportunity to explore, we never give the industrial arts a chance.
The Industrial Arts for ALL Ages and ALL Career Paths.
This is a hands-on introduction to the industrial arts. Students should have a basic introduction to materials and the methods of working them regardless of their intended career path. A basic understanding of these skills is essential to becoming a successful manager, designer or simply a better functioning being in this material world.
This program will begin as a high school shop class program and grow to accommodate college students, adults seeking a career change, artists and our local inventor/maker hobbyists. The best learning environment is one among all peer groups.
This educational center will blend the Arts and the Technical aspects of a career in manufacturing or design.
Recruitment to Technical programs.
This program is the "taste" and the recruiter to be located within the epicenter of our community. There are many talented makers who without an influence or a taste of what IS possible, would never take the turn to make a living from a technical skill.
From the introduction/overview provided by this program, a student may then choose application to specific tech school for a trade, or they may go into a creative undergraduate arts program with a stronger foundation for studio design (architecture/fine arts), or they may go on to business school for management training with a better grasp of the skill sets/processes that they are tasked to manage.
A Different Approach to Education
Students can only learn so much while isolated in the theory, books and classrooms of academia. Our shop program will immerse students in a project based fast tracked hands on exploration within an operating design/fabrication business.
Through this model, students will gain exposure to the real world principles of operating a design/fabrication business-
- Design/communication: Drafting, Modeling, Computer Aided Drawing
- Purchasing, Materials Sourcing
- Fabrication: Geometry, Trigonometry
- Finishing: Simple Chemistry
- Marketing and Sales: Web Design, Blogging, Public Relations
- Program integration with multiple core educational disciplines—Geometry, Trigonometry, Physics, Chemistry (finishing, fabrication), Art (design, history, social studies) , Techical Writing
- Through applied practice, core educational disciplines become relevant
- Tours and integration with the local manufacturing community
- Applied projects teach critical creative thinking skills. There is no better teacher than experience. The best learning is achieved through projects which challenge BOTH the mind and the hands.
An existing demand/Need for Welders, Machinists, Hands-on career "makers"...
There is currently a great need for skilled makers in the US economy and especially this community.
- Our local economy is heavily based on technical skills, from welders, to mechanics. A generation of makers is retiring with no one to replace them.
- For generations, parents have been encouraging their children to pursue careers as knowledge workers. We are taught to respect those who work with their minds behind a desk. In today's economy these management knowledge worker positions are extremely competitive and easily outsourced to call centers around the world.
- Maker skills are always required at the site of need and cannot be outsourced. They will always be in demand. Contrary to common belief there is greater demand for technical workers and many of these positions are higher paid than knowledge worker positions requiring greater educational investments.
- Our local Manufacturers Association has started a career training center in an attempt to meet these workforce education needs. MASCPA has developed programming for working adults but our secondary education system is struggling to catch up.
- The county tech school must turn applicants away due to space constraints. The community potential for fulfilling this need of skilled makers is under-served.
- In-sourcing, changing global manufacturing economy.
The fast growing International Maker Movement is closely aligned with the Arts and Industry. It is time that we work to strengthen this movement and community in York County.