The Clarke Community Schools’ Industrial Technology program continues to help introduce talented Clarke students and local manufacturers, making life-changing opportunities for the students and community alike. Whether in the form of in-class, academic and curriculum advancement, or through finding the real-world experiences of internships and job shadowing, the connections made between Clarke students and local businesses is like no other. As a prime example, this year, Clarke’s Industrial Technology Instructor, Dave Lyden helped place Clarke Senior, McCormick Evink in an engineering and drafting intern position with Osceola’s Altec body plant.
“McCormick’s experience with SolidWorks 3D CAD software, his dedication, and his drive made him an ideal candidate for the Altec program,” said Lyden. “After some discussion with the Altec team, we were able to connect him with an internship that will help in his pursuit of an engineering degree.”
The Clarke Industrial Tech program has grown from serving a handful of students each semester to offering numerous classes that range from industrial CAD design and engineering, to machine works, welding and fabrication, and more. With smart budgeting, fundraising, and local support, the department recently installed a powder-coating oven, updated computers, software, and added welding stations for the students to use.
“Thanks to Mr. Lyden’s hard work, the relationship between our local manufacturers and Clarke students is as strong as ever,” said Bill Trickey, Executive Director of the Clarke County Development Corporation. “They know a deep and talented workforce is what keeps our community thriving.”
McCormick Evink’s internship through Altec takes his classroom CAD drafting and engineering curriculum to an entirely new level. With professional guidance and mentorship, McCormick gets to see work transform from on-paper plans to the SolidWorks program and on to the manufacturing floor – practical experience most high school students miss out on.
“This internship is going to give me the experience necessary to advance into a college-level engineering program,” said McCormick. “The team at Altec has been really supportive and great to work with.”
Through the internship, McCormick has been able to learn and work in software beyond SolidWorks and his classroom programs. These advanced programs are integral to the manufacturing and mechanical engineering fields he hopes to major in next year.
When back in the classroom, McCormick continues to work on special school projects, like the drafting and fabrication of a new Clarke Community Schools bench design. Intended for annual reproduction, it will be a project students will work on to commemorate each graduating class. Different designs for the high school, elementary, and even some for the trails in and around the city will be ready to powder-coat before the semester is out.
“This is a great example of the craftsmanship and artistry the industrial tech department creates,” said Lyden. “Working with students like McCormick makes the production of these a breeze.”
Each year the Industrial Technology department tries to place students in internships with local manufacturers throughout Clarke County. As the department continues to grow, Lyden sees an even stronger manufacturing base coming from Clarke to help strengthen the community.