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This summer, the Kansas City National Security Campus (KCNSC), managed by Honeywell FM&T, hosted teachers through two different programs, Show-Me Careers through the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and the second annual externship program supporting Grandview High School’s Advanced Manufacturing Academy. Teachers from both programs experienced hands on virtual training and received employee insights into career opportunities outside of those found through a traditional four-year college degree. while debunking common manufacturing myths. KCNSC aims to educate the teachers and administration about future career opportunities and partner to build a more robust talent pipeline that provides well-paying advanced manufacturing careers.
In June, 60 teachers and administrators, representing 27 schools in the Kansas City Metro area, participating in Show-Me Careers spent half a day at a simulation and training factory. During their time at KCNSC, they participated in multiple hands-on learning experiences including factory simulations, AR/VR (augmented /virtual reality) training and interacting with Security and Human Resources professionals. Their time spent at KCNSC provides the opportunity to reach thousands of students annually with new career opportunities that will help narrow the skills gap. This program aligns directly with the Real World Learning Initiative supported by the Kauffman Foundation.
To hear about the Show Me Careers video, please watch this video.
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For the second year, eight teachers from Grandview High School’s Advanced Manufacturing Academy participated in an externship program, championed by Honeywell FM&T President, Eric Wollerman. The teachers spent an immersive week learning about the critical work KCNSC performs, participating in hands-on learning, engaging with hiring managers and industry instructors’ in-depth conversations to better prepare them to teach their students for life beyond high school.
This year, teachers were also given an opportunity to explore offerings at Johnson County Community College and Metropolitan Community College. Educators learned about admission requirements, shared curriculum design best practices and even tried their hand at virtual welding and used a metal press.
"By hosting teacher externships, the KCNSC team is giving teachers from Grandview, Hickman Mills and Center School Districts access to real-world experiences in advanced manufacturing. These teachers will now open the door for hundreds of high school students to explore careers in advanced manufacturing and other highly skilled trades. PREP-KC is proud to be a partner in building these opportunities for students and teachers from KC's urban communities, and in helping companies like Honeywell build a much-needed talent pipeline,” said Susan Wally, President & CEO PREP-KC.
"If you can empower a teacher, then that teacher can exponentially apply what they've learned into all the students they have at their school," explained Wollerman.
The week is only one aspect of the externship experience as KCNSC provides ongoing mentorships for teachers, engagement with administration, curriculum and equipment guidance to further develop the Advanced Manufacturing Academy, scholarship opportunities for students and overall support to be a great neighbor to the school district in our backyard.
"Engaging our community is a cornerstone of what we believe a community college should do, and programs like this strengthens our relationship throughout the Greater Kansas City education system. When business and education meet, we can share knowledge, and see the next 5, 10, even 20 years ahead in terms of employee skill sets. These conversations are vital to ensure we have a high quality workforce moving forward and we appreciate Honeywell in helping make that happen,” said John Littleton Program Director Continuing Education-Business Solutions at Johnson County Community College.
Through the Show Me Careers program and Grandview Externship this summer, teachers received an insider’s view to the world of advanced manufacturing, learning what employees at the KCNSC perform support of our national security mission. They were able to experience it hands-on learning through the critical skills necessary to accomplish our mission. These educators are now better equipped to go into their classrooms and expose students to careers in the skilled trades and essential careers which will always be needed and valued.