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Excel Donates Equipment to Area High School

In order to pursue a career as a machinist, experience with machines like lathes and mills is a huge asset. Earlier last year, Excel donated a manual lathe (originally from Parker Fabrication) and mill to Midwest Central High School in Manito, IL as part of a partnership with the school that also allows Ag Mechanics students to shadow anyone at Excel. From accounting to manufacturing, this program gives students the hands-on experience of working in the real world with the added bonus of collaborating with their teachers to create a resume and report their experience during the shadowing process.

Excel was and always is looking to bring new, skilled workers into manufacturing. So when the city of Manito, along with Jay Blair, Principal of Midwest Central, asked what they could do to help, Steve Stewart (Excel’s Director of Human Resources) jumped at the chance to educate high schoolers about life within the manufacturing realm and at Excel, too.

“It’s all about developing and growing,” Stewart said of the partnership with Midwest Central. “The chance to promote a career in the field of manufacturing is huge, because here we aim to change the stigma typically associated with the average manufacturing job.”

Ag Mechanics Instructor Steve White, who spent time training in manufacturing at Excel, feels the kind of hands-on experience his students receive with Excel’s partnership is a great help, saying, “most education is so foreign to the expectations of the real world, so this partnership with Excel helps foster that transition.”

This partnership with Midwest Central helps both the students and Instructor White in keeping up with current trends in the industry. Having taken classes at Illinois Central College in order to keep up with current teaching methods, White says, “Now I can combine the needs of academics and industry with the aid of an outside partner guiding me to things that are important at this time.”

Following last year’s donation of the lathe, Midwest Central has recently added a mill to their shop program. The mill was donated by a retired tool and die business owner from Chicago with the help of the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association, Illinois Central College, and Excel Foundry & Machine.

Excel not only aims to promote a career in manufacturing, but the building and developing of our community and our culture. Stewart believes that these kinds of programs should be available to all students in the area, and he is happy to see Midwest Central’s program growing. Principal Blair says his students are very excited and he is glad they will have this great opportunity to expand their skills.

mchs 01 Excel Donates Equipment to Area High School

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