Valley, UPS unveil gift to the school’s Industrial Maintenance Academy

Students help cut ribbon on $175,000 conveyor belt loop donated by UPS Airlines

When students in Valley High School’s Industrial Maintenance Academy train to wire electrical circuits, troubleshoot mechanical problems and repair critical production line equipment, they’ll be learning on the real deal. On August 30, they helped cut the ribbon on a $175,000 conveyor belt loop donated by UPS Airlines that will give them hands-on experience on everything from assembling and disassembling conveyors, sprockets, rollers and bearings to wiring an electric motor.

“This is the perfect example of a win-win scenario,” said Dr. Marty Pollio, superintendent of Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS). “Thanks to the academy model and strong business-school partnerships with companies like UPS, our students earn real-world learning opportunities, while our business partners gain the advantage of future employees who are not only knowledgeable of but experienced on the equipment and machinery used in their industry.”

The new eight-belt conveyor was built at UPS Airlines for Valley’s program this summer and then disassembled, moved and reassembled at Valley. The entire project involved 30 engineers and technicians from UPS Airlines, who volunteered a total of 2,700 man hours from June through August to ensure the equipment was in place for the start of school. The conveyor loop, which is outfitted with photo-eyes and safety switches and has custom program and prints, will help students learn to read and troubleshoot electrical issues, assemble and disassemble conveyors, and wire an electric motor.

“UPS Airlines is proud to have been part of this project with Valley High School and JCPS,” said Chris Owens, UPS Airlines plant engineering division manager. “Investing in our community and providing a pathway for career success prepares our community's youth for success after high school and beyond. Our UPS Airlines employees are honored to have donated their time and resources to building a stronger community and future workforce.”

As part of its commitment to the Industrial Maintenance program, UPS Airlines is also working with students on other high-demand skills, such as running wiring for residential circuits, running electrical conduit and HVAC ductwork, and wiring household appliances and lights, switches, doorbells and outlets.

“The addition of the new Industrial Maintenance Academy with our business partners will change the trajectory of our students’ and their families’ lives,” said Rob Stephenson, principal of Valley. “The opportunities for our students to join the Louisville workforce after graduation are nothing less than phenomenal.”

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