Federal grant brings state of the art manufacturing equipment to Max Hayes
by Chuck Hoven
(Plain Press, March 2006) Max Hayes High School celebrated the purchase of two state of the art Fidal Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Vertical Machining Centers at a ceremony at the school at 4600 Detroit Avenue on February 21st. Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-11) cut the ribbon for the new machines purchased with funds from a federal grant from the United States Department of Education. The $248,525 grant also covers some start up costs for an academy at Max Hayes call TEAM (Technology Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing) Academy. Students in Max Hayes TEAM Academy’s Manufacturing Technology class will use the new equipment and accompanying software to design products and precision cut them to specifications.
School Principal David Volosin welcomed guests to the ceremony, including Cleveland Municipal School District CEO Lisa Ruda, Cleveland School Board members Shirley Hawk and Rashidah Abdulhaqq, and Danny Williams, Senior Vice President and General Council of the Greater Cleveland Partnership.
The Greater Cleveland Partnership is one of a number of community institutions that provided assistance and support in the creation of TEAM Academy. Dave Mikita of the Greater Cleveland Partnership serves as the project manager for TEAM Academy. Other partners include CAMP, the Cleveland Municipal School District, Cuyahoga Community College, North Coast Tech-Prep Consortium, the Northeast Ohio Manufacturing Awareness Council, Ohio Department of Education and the West Side Industrial Retention and Expansion Network.
Principal Volosin, who likes to use the slogan “Max is back” explained how this equipment helps promote that idea. In the early 1980s, he noted, area companies looking to find a future employee with the skills they needed could come to Max Hayes with the assurance that a junior or senior student Max Hayes student would have the skills. If specific sought-after skills were not yet being taught, companies would provide the equipment to train on. The new CNC machines will once again provide students with state of the art equipment to train on.
TEAM Academy Program Director Mikita says the tool can cut to the precision of half the width of a human hair. The CNC is used to design products “from aircraft parts to auto parts and every product imaginable”, says Mikita.
Max Hayes Manufacturing Technology Instructor Israel Burgos says the new CNC machine gives his students a “chance to practice on what is out there (in today’s manufacturing environment). Burgos, an instructor at Max Hayes for 17 years, hopes the new equipment will enable him to open up partnerships with small manufacturers in the neighborhood so students can design products for them as part of their class work and get a better taste of what its like to be a CNC operator for a manufacturing company.
Students in the TEAM Academy have already started using the CNC machines, which have been at the school for several months. TEAM Academy Junior Adam Fekete demonstrated the use of the CNC Vertical Machining Centers by creating a plaque for Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones on one of the machines. The machine cut the lettering into the plaque in a font type chosen by Fekete when he designed the plaque using Master Computer Aided Machining (CAM) software that guides the precision cutting tool on the CNC.
Fekete says he wants to be a CNC Machine operator and likes to design things. Fekete says that a Max Hayes foundation class gives freshmen the opportunity to explore different trades. He says he decided on machine shop because it was the only trade he couldn’t learn at home. He says his grandfather is a welder and can teach him that trade and his father can teach him auto mechanics. At Max Hayes, he first learned how to use hand tools and other precision tools to do machining. Now as an eleventh grade student in TEAM Academy he says the things he can do with the new CNC machine are unimaginable – they simply couldn’t have been done with the old equipment.
At the encouragement of his Manufacturing Technology Instructor Israel Burgos, said Fekete, he is also taking robotics and computer evening classes at Cuyahoga Community College. His school days often average between 12 and 14 hours.
Manufacturing Tech Instructor Burgos explained that the TEAM Academy has a relationship with the Youth Tech Academy at Cuyahoga Community College so students can earn college credits at Tri-C while still in high school. To be eligible for the program
Burgos says students must have at least a 2.5 grade point average, have an attendance record of greater than 95% and have completed Algebra II. Burgos says through an agreement between Tri-C and Cleveland State University, two years of credits at Tri-C will transfer to Cleveland State. Students can then enter CSU’s Manufacturing Engineering Technology Program and receive an Engineering degree in two years time.
With the skills students gain at Max Hayes, Burgos says they can go directly to industry after graduation, or choose the college route, or they can do both and have their employer pay for continuing their education.
Mikita says the average manufacturing job pays over $40,000 per year. In some jobs pay can grow to over $100,000 per year.
Max Hayes High School, the Cleveland Municipal School District’s only trade school, also offers instruction in a variety of other trades such as building construction, welding and cutting, auto body, and auto mechanics.
The school, which hopes to have a ninth grade class of 200 students next year, will be holding four open houses this year. Eighth grade students and their parents exploring Max Hayes as an option, as well as members of the public, are invited to the school for the open houses. Open houses will be held at the school from 6-8 PM on March 14, April 11, April 27 and May 11th.
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