Spotlight Encore Cleveland: Building the Next Generation of Technical Professionals

Gary Dudich, retired Journeyman Ironworker and Technical Corps Program Member assists welding students at Max S. Hayes High School with practice welds.
Gary Dudich, retired Journeyman Ironworker and Technical Corps Program Member, assists welding students at Max S. Hayes High School with practice welds.

Launched in 2013 by the Cleveland Foundation, Encore Cleveland helps to connect and fund a network of organizations to provide experienced Greater Clevelanders an array of meaningful opportunities in the community upon retirement or near the end of their primary careers. In our “Spotlight Encore Cleveland” guest blog series, we go behind-the-scenes to explore the many opportunities available through Encore Cleveland. Learn about WIRE-Net’s Technical Corps Program in this guest blog from the organization:

Rich Eskra, retired diesel mechanic instructs Max S. Hayes High School 12th grade diesel students on the mechanics of a snow blower.

Rich Eskra, retired diesel mechanic instructs Max S. Hayes High School 12th grade diesel students on the mechanics of a snow blower.

WIRE-Net and Max S. Hayes High School are pleased to finish the 2016-17 school year with some remarkable success stories from the Technical Corps Program (TCP) that completed its second year in the machining, welding, and manufacturing design career pathways. The program expanded this year to include the automotive technician, diesel, and building construction career pathways at the high school.

Gary Dudich, a retired Journeyman Iron Worker, served his second year as a Technical Corps member in the welding lab during the Spring semester. Gary assisted in the lab with general welding, preparation for American Welding Society (AWS) certification tests, and served as a mentor for students during class time. Students earned approximately 30 certifications in Mig, Tig, Stick and/or Flux-Cored Arc welding as a direct result of Gary’s assistance. Joseph McKay, Jr., the welding teacher, remarked that Gary had a great impact on students as well as him. The feedback from the students (9th-12th) was also very positive and they were grateful for his assistance.

Gary’s main reason for pursuing the TCP position was to use his skills to give back. WIRE-Net hopes that human resource managers will see the Technical Corps Program as one way to develop talent. TCP provides a way for Max S. Hayes High School students to work alongside industry experts to prepare for work-based learning opportunities and develop the skills to succeed in college and career.

Technicians in the classroom enhance student learning objectives by supporting the high school teachers on projects and lessons. These experiences encourage students to conduct research, work collaboratively with others, and engage in cross-curricular studies. Technical Corps members serve ten hours per week for at least one academic semester (16 weeks) and are compensated for their time.

WIRE-Net is looking for additional people who are retired or in-transition who have experience in welding, machining, manufacturing design, auto technology, auto collision, diesel technology, or building trades to serve a variety of roles, including subject matter experts and teacher assistants. View compensation and detailed job descriptions here.

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