Fluid Power Journal

NFPA Career Connections – Making A Difference in Tomorrow’s Workforce

notable-LynnBeyerPrice Engineering. Thirty high school students. A tour. Fluid power classroom kits. Sharing. An internship. What does all this equal? The new NFPA Student Career Connections (SCC) program. The first SCC event took place at NFPA member Price Engineering in Hartland, Wis., on March 17, 2015.

The SCC program is a newly developed initiative from NFPA to get middle and high school students interested in fluid power, engineering, and manufacturing. It’s a wonderful way to connect with students and get more involved in the community, and the schedule can be adjusted to fit whatever time and resources the company has available. Here’s how a typical half-day program works:

  • Students and teachers from local middle or high schools get a tour of an NFPA member company.
  • A member from that company speaks to students about careers, what a day in the life is like, and how to get into the industry, etc.
  • Members work with students to put together a basic fluid power classroom kit.
  • The member company provides lunch (if time allows).
  • NFPA can provide teachers with a fluid power curriculum that has been used in several Project Lead The Way (PLTW) schools before the group leaves.

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At Price Engineering, students from Arrowhead High School met in a conference room and got to see through video and a presentation what Price does and the different creative and innovative job opportunities available in the fluid power field. They broke into groups and got a tour of the company, talking to several employees along the way about what they do and seeing first hand how it gets done. After that, all the students and employees came back to the conference room and worked together to build a fluid power classroom kit. While they were doing that, pizza was brought in, and Price played videos of innovative and fun work being done in fluid power. A group of students even shared their video of a robot they created to compete in FIRST Robotics. Because of this event, one student got an internship at Price.

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Everyone involved had a lot of fun, and some great student/industry connections were definitely made. For more information on how to host a Student Career Connections event at your company, contact me at lbeyer@nfpa.com or call 414-778-3364. I can work with a local school (that you are already involved with) to invite students and teachers, or with your help, I can find some new options. This program offers a lot of flexibility and can be made to fit whatever you have to offer students to get them interested and involved in fluid power.

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By Lynn Beyer, Workforce Program Manager (Pre-College Programs), National Fluid Power Association (NFPA)

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