Warsaw — The 2019 OrthoWorx Summer Intern Team launched a new talent development initiative, RealME, recently to an audience of community leaders, industry partners and state education officials.
RealME (Real Manufacturing Experiences) focuses on careers and educational pathways to local manufacturing opportunities and is a follow-up initiative to DiscoverME that the 2018 Summer Intern Team created for eighth-grade students.
RealME will take place on National Manufacturing Day, Friday, October 4, at Grace College’s Gordon Recreation Center and will engage all sophomore students in Tippecanoe Valley, Warsaw, Wawasee and Whitko school corporations.
RealME is an extension of the 2018 initiative DiscoverME, a week-long program that serves as an introduction to advanced manufacturing and the diverse career opportunities available related to machining. DiscoverME was an incredible success in 2018 with 68 percent of students acknowledging an increased awareness about local manufacturing in Kosciusko County.
Kendra Perkins, 2019 Lead Team Intern noted, “Our intern team was focused on making improvements to DiscoverME, based on teacher and student feedback, while also creating a new program, RealME.”
“We had an incredible experience listening to so many community partners and industry members on their workforce needs. We considered these concerns, but really focused on what would be exciting for the students,” Perkins said.
“We met with several local students, and even considered our own experiences with field trips. We want students to be more aware of career and educational opportunities, even through their own career centers, while also learning about the process and realities of manufacturing through a fun activity.”
The ME programs are geared toward educating students about the manufacturing industry in Kosciusko County.
“Our ME programs demonstrate an incredible collaboration between the schools, industry partners and various community stakeholders like OrthoWorx,” said Nichole Rouached, Manager, Communications & Projects.
Ensuring the ME program aligns with student needs, OrthoWorx has been working with The Dekko Foundation to strengthen the programs and learn from other community initiatives.
“OrthoWorx is committed to creating fun and engaging manufacturing programs for students and even educators that participate in the ME programs,” Rouached said. “Sponsorships and grants from organizations like The Dekko Foundation allow us to create exciting opportunities for students to understand career options and educational pathways that may not require loans after they leave high school or college.”
Parents and employers can learn more about the ME programs, DiscoverME and RealME, by contacting Rouached at OrthoWorx at [email protected].
OrthoWorx is a non-profit initiative formed in 2009 in Warsaw, the Orthopedic Capital of the World. The organization received initial funding from Lilly Endowment, Inc. to fill a critical void in the industry as a connection for industry members, education and our community, leveraging resources to drive positive change.