GE Appliances’ new classroom experience provides hands-on learning for JCPS students

High school students now have head start on manufacturing careers

GE Appliances (GEA) Chief Operations Officer Melanie Cook, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio have officially opened the new product manufacturing assembly demonstration line for students in the manufacturing pathway at Doss High School. 

Doss student works on the new assembly demo line at the school. The line is a replica of what GE Appliances uses at Appliance Park

“This community can always count on GE Appliances to help support students,” said Dr. Pollio.  “From donating signage and technology to creating unique career and educational opportunities, the partnership between JCPS and GE Appliances is really a model for how we can all work together to strengthen outcomes for students.”

The students in the program have expressed an interest in pursuing careers in manufacturing and are part of the Academies of Louisville initiative at Doss. The Academies model mixes career-oriented classes with math, English and other core content courses to enable students to explore high-demand fields.

“With this new manufacturing assembly process demonstration line, GE Appliances continues its investment in the future of Louisville’s workforce. In partnership with JCPS through the Academies of Louisville, GE Appliances offers students the opportunity to acquire skills, gain experience and evaluate careers in manufacturing as they plan for their futures,” said Mayor Fischer.

Over the last three years, GE Appliances has served as a business partner for the Doss manufacturing pathway, which has grown to 124 students. The students graduate with industry certification, which has allowed several of them to obtain full-time, entry-level positions with area manufacturers.  Graduates who start with GE Appliances have access to college tuition reimbursement and career paths with business leadership opportunities.

Dr. Pollio and students cut the ribbon on a the new assembly line at Doss High School.
“Through our partnership with Doss High School, we’ve created a program that taps into the maker movement and is a national model for educating the next generation of American manufacturing leaders,” said Cook.  “We want to get students and their parents excited about manufacturing careers.”

PHOTOS: Doss High School Manufacturing Lab

The fully operational product manufacturing assembly demonstration line, unveiled during National Manufacturing Month, is a replica of one in use at the GE Appliances’ Manufacturing Training Center at Appliance Park in Louisville.  Students must use math and science skills to set up engineering and manufacturing concepts and gather data to adjust those inputs in order to achieve optimal assembly processes. GE Appliances designed the line and donated the materials and installation costs.  The line was installed over the summer, and students have been using it since school began in August. 

“Our students came back from summer break and they couldn’t believe this was all for them,” said Doss Academy Coach Tina Carraro.  “Learning comes to life in this space.  Students are engaged, excited to learn, and they are so appreciative that a company like GE Appliances believes in them and supports them.” 

Dr. Pollio and students cut the ribbon on a the new assembly line at Doss High School.

The new product manufacturing assembly demonstration line at Doss is the latest of several education-focused investments that GE Appliances has made in the Louisville area including:

  • Hosted manufacturing pathway students in a live chat with GE Appliances’ employees about their careers and the job educational requirements.
  • Paid summer internships for JCPS high school students. 
  • Launched GEA2Day one year ago where Doss students acquire work experience two days a week, receive pay, and earn a $6,000 per-year tuition credit to pursue college degrees. Currently, seven Doss students are part of the GEA2Day workforce. 
  • Sponsored the Summer Backpack League for JCPS elementary school students.
  • Donated products to several local schools.

In February, GE Appliances was recognized by Gartner Inc., the world’s leading research and advisory company, with a “Power of the Profession” award for Talent Breakthrough of the Year in recognition of its innovative workforce development initiatives.

This article was published on October 9, 2019.

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