Students began the day with a tour of HOMAG Machinery North America, where they saw how German-engineered flat table CNC machines are built and assembled right here in the United States. From there, students made the trip down the road to the Stiles Machinery headquarters where they were able to see those same machines in action as Stiles team members lead a hands-on demonstration in the manufacturing of electric guitar bodies.
Katie Bush, a teacher at Kenowa Hills Pathways High School, explained why she believes this opportunity was an important one for her students. “We have students that have opted out of the traditional classroom environment for various reasons, many of which will be career bound straight out of high school and don’t know what their options are. This trip gave them an idea of what opportunities are out there for them.”
“This trip to Stiles has helped us build upon the foundation of what we are trying to do at Kenowa Hills Pathways High School,” said English teacher Tim Chrapek, “by providing students with an education both within and outside of the four walls of their school.”
Many students also expressed their experience at Stiles’ Manufacturing Day Event including Aidan Ewing, a senior from Kenowa Hills, who mentioned how this opportunity has impacted his plans for the future. “When thinking about working in a factory, I’ve always envisioned an uncomfortable environment, but after touring HOMAG and Stiles, I realized that I was wrong. Everything was clean and open, and it seemed like things were very effective and productive,” said Ewing.
When asked if he would be interested in pursuing a career in manufacturing Ewing responded that before today he would have said no, but after today he would definitely be interested in it.