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Precision Plus Continues to Support Area High Schools and Technical Colleges by Being Part of their CTE Advisory Committees

Michael Reader

Precision Plus currently serves on several career and technical education (CTE) high school and technical college advisory committees. Typically, the committees include advisors from area businesses, educators, and community and professional associations, who strive to strengthen curricula as well as the partnership between all of those involved.

On December 9, 2014, Mike Reader, President of Precision Plus and Barry Butters, the company’s Director of Education and Training attended a CTE meeting at Beloit Memorial High School. At this regularly scheduled meeting, school representatives appraised their business partners on the status of courses, curriculum and overall participation by the students, while manufacturers reviewed workforce related issues and suggested course offering revisions that would help to address these issues.

On December 10, 2014, Butters and Reader attended two CTE committee meetings: the Elkhorn Area High School meeting, and the Gateway Technical College Elkhorn Campus meeting.

At the Elkhorn Area High School CTE committee meeting, school representatives also sought the input of their business partners to develop a curriculum that best addresses key industry needs.

These changes are being discussed in anticipation to a major remodeling of the technical education facilities at the high school. Chris Trottier, their principal, led these discussions, explaining the school’s goal to prepare students to take full advantage of new industry opportunities as they become available. On December 15, 2015, Barry Butters will be part of a presentation to the School Board on the committee’s recommendation.

Barry Butters, Director of Education and Training at Precision Plus, who also serves on the Facility Advisory Committee for the Elkhorn School District, confirmed that a recent survey shows overwhelming support by the community for this remodeling project and the technology education opportunities that could be derived from this undertaking.

At the Gateway Technical College Elkhorn Campus CTE committee meeting, advisors convened to take action on a grant proposal for nearly $500,000 to expand the CNC offerings at the Elkhorn campus. Currently the CNC offerings are only at the Racine campus. A successful outcome, would result in the remodeling of the technical education wing to host equipment for CNC machining. The results will be known in March.

The CTE committee meeting was also attended by three representatives from Haas Automation, as well as a number of representatives from area manufacturers.

Precision Plus’ Barry Butters Asked to Be a Judge at the Wisconsin Project Lead The Way 2014 EDD Competition

Michael Reader

Barry Butters, Director of Training and Education at Precision Plus was asked to participate as a judge in the Wisconsin Project Lead The Way 2014 Engineering Design and Development (EDD) Competition. There were a total of 24 judges assessing the projects of 19 teams.

Being that Butters is a certified EDD instructor, he knew the process well. Each judge was assigned five teams to listen to and observe, and score based on predetermined scoring rubric, after which an average score was compiled. The caliber of the teams was outstanding. “I was truly impressed with the quality of the students’ work,” said Butters, “It seemed as though some of the groups were already degreed engineers.”

The winning entry was from Oconomowoc, and Butters had the privilege to judge that team. The results of your work are as follows:  The entry, “Active Radiation Shielding for Manned Interplanetary Space Flight” received the average high score.  This team will receive a $5,000 cash award.

Project Lead The Way (PLTW) supports young men and women by making available Engineering and Biomedical Sciences classes that lead to exciting new careers.  For more information about Wisconsin Project Lead The Way EDD Competition, click here.

Butters looks forward to being a judge at the 2015 EDD Competition.