Representatives from Sherwood High School’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) program brought Senator Ron Wyden along on a sight visit to Poly-Cast as part of a one-day outreach event for STEM Week http://stemoregon.org/stemweek.
Senator Wyden was invited to SHS to observe and meet students in the Career & Technical Education (CTE) Program, which includes students in the engineering department. The senator was interested in learning about SHS’s CTE program and how this program prepares students for the future, by offering classes in a variety of technical programs, including engineering.
John Niebergall, Sherwood High’s engineering and shop instructor, wanted Senator Wyden to visit Poly-Cast to see the unique partnership that has developed between the management team at Poly-Cast and SHS’s engineering program. Niebergall first met Dan Leedom, president of Poly-Cast, a few years ago when Leedom was looking for a great summer intern. Niebergall had the perfect candidate: Isaac Marshal. Marshal had just graduated from SHS and was looking for a summer internship before he started the engineering program at George Fox University.
Marshal was also at Poly-Cast to explain to Senator Wyden the benefits of his internship with Poly-Cast. He demonstrated for the senator the automation he developed for a product Poly-Cast manufactures called the auto dial: a vented 4-wheel-drive exterior hub component produced for the Ford Motor Company. Isaac’s automation of this manufacturing process not only resulted in better efficiency and precision, but also reduced projected price increases to the customer.
Because of the success Poly-Cast experienced with Isaac Marshal, we continue to interview prospective Sherwood High School students for their ongoing internship program. “It’s definitely win-win,” said John Schwend. “Not only does the student gain hands-on experience in manufacturing and engineering, but they also see the types of interesting and rewarding careers manufacturing can offer.”
“Our partnership with Sherwood High has been transformative,” said Leedom. “By offering these students an internship, we benefit from their ingenuity and they receive real-world training and experience.