Back to School 2017: Advanced manufacturing kicks off at Salisbury High
SALISBURY — Salisbury High School will kick off a new advanced manufacturing program with the start of the school year.
Thanks to a $700,000 Golden LEAF grant, soon students will be able to study advanced manufacturing, mechatronics and robotics. But all of this won’t happen at once.
“Now that we have the money the real work begins,” Mandy Mills, director of Career and Technical Education with Rowan-Salisbury Schools, said.
According to Mills, the program will be phased in over two years.
This year the school will add technology, engineering design and advanced manufacturing courses. Next school year they’ll launch mechatronics and metals manufacturing courses.
With the new courses come new facilities. Two of Salisbury High’s old buildings will be renovated to house the program. The first is currently being remodeled, and should be ready to go by the time the school year kicks off. When it’s complete, it will house the advanced manufacturing program, and will include collaboration stations, drafting stations and a robotics lab.
The second building will house the mechatronics courses, and will feature a mechatronics and computer lab. It should be complete by the start of the 2018-19 school year, Mills said.
“We’re going to take a whole year to make sure it’s done right,” she said.
According to principal Luke Brown, a large number of students have already signed up for the courses or expressed interest in the new manufacturing track. Mills said the school plans to bring in speakers and take students on tours of local facilities in an effort to change their perception of manufacturing jobs.
Salisbury High is also partnering with Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, Integro Technology and county commissioners to help students have as many opportunities for either employment or continuing education after they graduate high school.
“We’re going to put all those avenues in place so that there’s a lot of choices for our students,” Mills said.
The groups worked together to help get the program off the ground, and Mills said she hopes to continue that collaboration.
“Everybody kinda came together because this was such a need in our community,” she said.
The first group of students will set out to explore the future of advanced manufacturing at Salisbury High when classes resume Aug. 28.
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