180 Skills and Schools That Can have partnered with Newark Public Schools West Side High School to launch a career and technical education (CTE) advanced manufacturing program that teaches skills aligned with 9,000 open jobs in the five-county region.

West Side is a four-year, public, urban high school that is dedicated to preparing students for college and career options. West Side has approximately 600 students in grades nine through twelve.

Schools That Can is a New Youk City based non-profit that is dedicated to creating a safe space where teachers and school leaders from urban schools, education innovators, and industry leaders can work together to advance school improvement, breaking down silos to ensure all students are equipped with the skills to succeed in college, career, and life.

West Side student Jaevon and 180 Skills CEO Joe Kitterman

“I thought manufacturing was just a guy doing something. After taking 180 Skills courses, I actually got to be involved in making something”, said rising junior Jaevon. He isn’t the only student excited about the new advanced manufacturing program.
Launched in the fall of 2016, 28 students were enrolled in the program. West Side Vice Principal Troy Long said, “After just one year, the advanced manufacturing program will be oversubscribed.”

In the first part of the advanced manufacturing program, Manufacturing Discovery, students learn about manufacturing as a career and basic information about the manufacturing industry. They also apply their knowledge through STEM-based classroom projects.

In the second part of the advanced manufacturing program students will have the opportunity to enroll in 180 Skills Career Programs. Career programs teach entry-level, employer-defined, advanced manufacturing skills and soft skills like team building, communications and career readiness.

Jaevon explained how the soft skills courses have helped him understand the importance of eye contact, “Before I took the course, I didn’t understand why eye contact was important. Now, I always keep eye contact in conversation, and I think that will help me get a job in my future.”

West Side High School

Students will also engage in real world learning through hands-on projects, field trips to career sites, and visits from guest speakers and mentors.

Before they graduate, Javeon and his classmates could complete two to three Career Programs. Each Career Program is the equivalent of 20 to 25 college credit hours.

Students in grade nine have the opportunity to learn more about manufacturing through an Exploration Day run in partnership with Dream It. Do It. New Jersey.

Vice Principal Long is very pleased with the advanced manufacturing program and states, “Students love it.” The program enrollment is expected to increase each year, providing an even greater opportunity to change students’ lives and successfully launch them into new careers.