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Foothills Regional High School celebrates Social Circle Manufacturing Associate Graduates

Foothills Regional High School  recently celebrated 13 students who completed the Manufacturing Associates Training program at the Social Circle site, earning high school credit and industry-recognized credentials.

“We are extremely proud of these students for this exceptional accomplishment,” said superintendent Sherrie Gibney-Sherman. “Their wise choice to participate in the Manufacturing Associates certification class makes them more marketable for the many job opportunities they will have after graduation. The hard work and focus they demonstrated are just the qualities that future employers seek.”

In partnership with Workforce Innovators of America, Foothills offers the Manufacturing Associate program to introduce students to basic communication and employability skills as well as the important skills needed in additive manufacturing, blueprint reading, forklift operating, cranes and rigging, basic electricity, hand tools, torque wrenches and other areas of manufacturing and mechanics.

“Our team developed the Manufacturing Associate program to take someone who has never been employed in manufacturing and help them master the basics of problem-solving, critical thinking, teamwork, communication, and resilience,” said Vice President of Workforce Innovators of America Pete McGill. “After meeting with local industry partners, we realized the need for manufacturing associates to have a background in soft skills because employers stress the importance of being on time, being at work every day, dressed in the correct personal protective gear, having a positive attitude in the workplace, and handling difficult people and situations. Through close relationships with employers in the area, this class teaches each student the skills needed to be employed locally after completing the training program.”

Throughout the eight-week course, students earn OSHA 10, Forklift, Lean Six Sigma and CPR/First Aid/AED credentials. In addition, participants engage with a life coach who assists them with learning basic life skills needed to be successful in the workforce and instills confidence in their abilities.

“Our philosophy is to help students first master a skill or trade, get a job, and then, if they wish, transition to a postsecondary world that helps them hone the finer points of that trade,” McGill said. “We hope this model can become the standard for teaching the trades in underserved communities due to the mobility, flexibility, and innovation this type of program brings to the world of vocational training.”