When Altec’s Recruiter, Susan Miller, was pitched the idea of a joint venture between the Clarke County Development Corporation (CCDC), Clarke Schools, and local manufacturers in forming an Industrial Tech Advisory Board for Clarke students, she knew there would be advantages.
Not only did the collaboration give Altec and local manufacturers the ability to give back to the community, but it also provided the opportunity to show eager students a career path that could help them set roots locally and lower their potential debt load out of school.
“It’s truly exciting,” said Bill Trickey, Clarke County Development Corporation’s Executive Director. “We knew this program would bear fruit, and after a relatively short time, we’re seeing the program grow and impact the community at unimaginable levels.”
In the fall of 2019, access to the Advisory Board gave Susan Miller and the team at Altec’s Osceola plant the opportunity to offer a high school student internship. The qualifying student, with approval from the school and their parents, would spend half of their school day interning and taking in all of the operations – from digital drafting and assisting in design to welding and fabrication – at the Altec plant. They’d then return in the afternoon to take part in their academic studies.
“We knew we needed a special student for this position,” said Miller. “TJ stood out by performing well on the Altec team for the welding competition last year.”
TJ Woods, a senior at Clarke Community Schools spends much of his time with Mr. Lyden and the industrial tech program, taking classes through the school as well as learning much of the drafting and design on his own time at home. His participation in both welding competitions held by the Industrial Tech Advisory Board showed Altec leadership he had the drive and skill to be the perfect candidate for their inaugural internship program. In September, he was offered the internship and through some strategic arrangement of his other classes, he now spends his mornings as an Altec team member.
“This is an incredible opportunity,” said Woods. “It really takes what we learn in class and brings it into the real world.”
Check out the video below for a full picture of the Altec Internship and TJ’s accomplishments through the program:
“Growing this program is one of the CCDC’s highest priorities,” said Trickey. “With the help of everyone on the advisory board, we can create a path to a successful future for so many students.”
Other companies taking part in the Clarke Schools Industrial Technology Advisory Board include Miller Products Company, Iowa Steel, Osceola Foods, SIMCO, Salford Manufacturing, and Paul Mueller Company.