With several Sheboygan area manufacturers projecting a significant shortage in skilled trade and technical production workers over the next decade, and local schools reporting that 40 percent of their high school students do not enroll in any post-secondary institution, the Sheboygan Area School District (SASD) and area employers have unveiled a multi-million dollar investment to and improve skilled trades education and market technical careers.
The Red Raider Manufacturing plan, the result of 10 months of planning by local educators and employers, includes $5.6 million in building additions and equipment upgrades at Sheboygan North and South High Schools and curriculum enhancements and coordination with local manufacturers. The program will benefit companies and the broader community by training more students to fill critical vacancies and create jobs in industries that are key to the long-term health of the Sheboygan economy and the standard of living for residents in the region.
“The generosity of our business community allows us to take a major step forward in addressing the local skills gap,” said David Gallianetti, president of the SASD Board of Education. “Their investment in Red Raider Manufacturing will ensure more students are introduced to and prepared for manufacturing jobs, providing our local employers with a much-needed talent pool for tomorrow’s work force. We are so thankful to these local companies to provide this investment and be part of the solution.”
Local employers have already committed nearly $3 million to the initiative: American Orthodontics, Bemis Manufacturing, Curt Joa, HTT, Johnsonville Sausage, Kohler Company, Plastics Engineering Company, Rockline Industries, Sargento Foods, Inc., Sheboygan Chevrolet, and Vollrath Company.
“We are pleased to partner with area companies and SASD to provide applied learning centers that will help North and South High School students acquire technical education employment skills that are in-demand and enhance the health of our community,” said Steve Cassady, vice president of supply chain and operations at Kohler Co.
The Sheboygan County Economic Development Corporation and Lakeshore Technical College have also pledged investments, and the Sheboygan Area School District Board of Education committed $500,000. The $3.3 million in funds raised so far enabled the school district to apply for a $2.8 million matching federal grant in March from the Economic Development Administration, part of the U.S. Department of Commerce. A decision on the grant is expected by the end of April.
Interested in learning more about Red Raider Manufacturing?www.sheboygan.k12.wi.us/RedRaiderMfg