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About The

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3-Weeks to Live It!

This is like nothing you've done before!

We let you experience what it's like to be in a live production environment. You simulate real manufacturing as part of a team to plan operations, manufacture products, and sell them to real customers. 


You are exposed to manufacturers, professionals, and a network of opportunities. We introduce you to many career pathways, training and education options, and how to succeed in a trade. We even allow you to earn credits to buy starter tools, equipment, and gear to get you started. 


The Institute introduces participants to the tools and skills needed to complete the job. Not only do we teach safety, tooling, and manufacturing procedures, but we also cover many interpersonal skills employers want most. 

No matter your interest - manufacturing, engineering, business, or just checking things out - you'll gain insights and learn a lot to benefit you. You'll learn how to: 

  • Work in teams

  • Make real products for real customers

  • Sell finished products

  • Design products for customers.

  • Use tools to manufacture.

  • Work with others and develop interpersonal skills 

  • Get real feedback from industry professionals

  • Solve problems as you face real problems like shortages, change orders, and deadlines 



We're Looking for the Interested

This program is for those who are exploring career options. Students who already know they want a career in the trades and have taken a few years of shop or similar classes will not gain as much from the program. Likewise, those who are just looking for something to occupy time and have no interest in fully participating have not been successful in the past. 

Three Weeks of Learning and Work

Three weeks is not long to pack in all that we have. Learning is fast, and expectations are high. We recognize that many do not have a background in the trades. We help them learn essential skills.  At the same time, we know the fastest way to learn is by doing, so we expect participants to "learn as they go." This requires listening, learning, responding to feedback, applying what they learn, learning from mistakes, and continuously improving. 

We provide some instruction but leave much of the learning to the individuals and teams. Instructors explain and demonstrate and then guide and enable participants to succeed. As they work together as a team to plan, organize, solve problems, and produce, participants gain first-hand experience. 


Real Work

The program provides instruction from industry professionals. From there, students are given products to design (or refine), manufacture, and sell. The industry's best understanding comes from experiencing the full cycle, from ideas to products to the final sale. 

Teams are given quotas to fill. They apply production standards such as quality, lean manufacturing, and continuous improvement as they work toward them. Just like in the real world, things happen. Students must work through change orders, supply issues, increases to quotas, and more—all within the same deadlines. (Just like in the real world!)

Because of the tight deadlines, production demands, and sales requirements, everyone on the team is expected to do their part. Full attendance and engagement are required to make it work. As goals are met, points are earned, and rewards are accumulated. 

Visit Manufacturers

Along the way, we expose students to different manufacturers. We go to multiple sites for tours and discussions about how they do things and the career opportunities available. This helps participants see manufacturing in action and different capacities. 


We recognize students for their hard work at the end of the program. Graduates receive a Certificate of Completion. 

The graduation ceremony acknowledges their hard work and achievement. 

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Some Areas Covered

  • Product Development

  • Product Design & Basic Drafting

  • Shop Production

  • Intro to Engineering in Production

  • Production Planning

  • Demand Management

  • Quality and Process Improvement

  • Customers - How to Find Them

  • Sales & Marketing Your Products

  • Intro to Welding, Machining, & More


Your team will design, make, and sell products from start to finish...all while learning how manufacturing is done in different environments. 


Download Our New Guide!

Check out our new booklet - "Experience Manufacturing." It outlines the Institute, its background, the program's impact, and how we plan to grow. This 28-page guide shares more details about where we've been and where we're going to help better prepare high school graduates for their future. 

What Is The Institute?

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