McDowell Manufacturing, a student-run enterprise at McDowell High School, was awarded a Manufacturing Training to Career grant for $99,730 to fulfill the expansion needs of the organization and continue to develop students for the manufacturing industry. A press conference was held at the McDowell Manufacturing technology lab on Tuesday, March 15, 2022 to announce the award, presented by PA Representatives Ryan Bizzarro and Bob Merski. The event kicked-off with this years’ student Production Manager, Kayla Radu, who said the program has 60 students this year, and that over the past two years students have produced over 13,000 parts for local companies. “We feel that whether students are entering the workforce or continuing their education, McDowell Manufacturing plays an integral part in our future success.”

Millcreek Township Superintendent, Dr. Ian Roberts, noted that he’s proud of the work the school leadership team has done to prepare students of what’s to come with this program. He elaborated that the additional grant funds will be used to increase recruitment for enrolling more students, adding new technology, working with more companies, and providing additional safety training. NWIRC’s President/CEO, Bob Zaruta, said “McDowell Manufacturing is the epitome of a public-private partnership. We have education, the NWIRC as a not-for-profit, and manufacturing companies working together – with the support of our elected officials.” He noted that over the past year or so, McDowell has opened their doors to other school districts in the region so that administrators, instructors, and teachers can see the program first-hand and determine how they can implement similar programs at their high schools. NWIRC is currently working with numerous school districts to help them secure funding and launch their programs, and will continue to be a partner because of their daily work with manufacturers. Representative Bizzarro and Representative Merski congratulated the students for their work and the progress the program has had in such short period of time.

Governor Tom Wolf recently announced the new funding for Millcreek Township School District, through the Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development’s Manufacturing Training to Career  (MTTC) grant program, to enhance their student-run enterprise and boost awareness of available opportunities in the manufacturing industry.  “Manufacturing has long had a key role in the commonwealth’s history,” said Gov. Wolf. “This Manufacturing PA Training-to-Career funding will boost high school students’ interest in modern manufacturing career opportunities and ensure the future of this important industry in Pennsylvania.”

Millcreek Township School District was awarded $99,730 to expand McDowell Manufacturing, a student-run enterprise at McDowell Senior High School. The program was originally funded by a MTTC grant in December 2019. The district plans to use the new funding award to enhance the successful program. Funds will be used to add a part-time CNC Specialist, purchase an Epson DTG Printer to expand the Graphics Division, provide OSHA safety training for new students entering the program, continue efforts to recruit students, and more.

To date, 22 students completed the program in its first year and 60 students are currently enrolled for the 2021-2022 school year. Last year alone, students manufactured 7,137 parts for seven manufacturing companies in the Erie area. The expansion of this program will lead to increased capabilities, increased student participation, production capacity, manufacturers engaged, and students prepared for advanced manufacturing job opportunities.

McDowell High School is a public high school of the Millcreek Township School District located in Erie, PA with 2,319 students in grades 9th through 12th. They are the 24th largest public high school in Pennsylvania.

NWIRC is one of the seven Industrial Resource Centers (IRCs) in Pennsylvania and part of the Manufacturing Extension Partnership National Network- serving small and mid-sized manufacturers throughout thirteen counties of northwestern Pennsylvania. Their mission is focused on helping manufacturers achieve and sustain top and bottom-line growth through continuous improvement, advanced manufacturing technologies, customized-workforce training, skills development programs, and supply chain optimization.