Conexus Indiana, the state’s advanced manufacturing and logistics (AML) initiative, has honored Press-Seal Corporation with a 2016 Conexus Indiana Touchstone Award, recognizing the company’s extraordinary hands-on contributions to preparing students for advanced manufacturing and logistics careers.
Press-Seal is one of 220 Conexus Indiana A+ Partners, companies that have committed to work with their local high schools to bring advanced manufacturing and logistics awareness, learning opportunities, and experience to the classroom of their local high schools and career centers.
Conexus created the A+ Partner program to support high schools offering strong AML courses. The goal is to provide students with real-world industry experience through relationships with local advanced manufacturing or logistics companies. Press-Seal works with students at North Side High School who are enrolled in Hire Tech, a 2-year turn-key high school curriculum that was developed by Conexus Indiana in collaboration with the Indiana Department of Education and Ivy Tech Community College.
Press-Seal earned the Touchstone Award for its comprehensive community outreach efforts, its commitment to training and hiring Hire Tech students and its commitment to debunking outdated perceptions of manufacturing by creating an open, energetic workplace.
“Press-Seal has created a clear pathway for students to transition from high school to a career at the company, and is one of the strongest voices for the manufacturing workforce,” said Claudia Cummings, Conexus Indiana’s vice president of Education, Workforce and Community Programs. “Their contributions reflect their attitude toward their existing workforce, empowering employees and creating opportunities. It is a special privilege to present Press-Seal with the 2016 Touchstone Award.”
“As an A+ Partner with North Side High School, we have a special, open-door relationship with students and teachers,” said John Kaczmarczyk, director of operations at Press-Seal. “Students from North Side can visit Press-Seal at any time. Students can come in after hours, during class and, with permission from their principal, come in early to participate in interviews, continuous improvement, and mentoring. We’re especially proud of the co-op and apprenticeship programs we initiated alongside Hire Tech.”
“What amazed me about Hire Tech was learning just how much I didn’t know about manufacturing and logistics, and having Press-Seal as a partner provided a hands-on experience,” said Dakota Jones, Press-Seal’s first working senior in its co-op program and a student at North Side High School. “Press-Seal has really inspired me to see manufacturing as a great opportunity. They offer a lot more opportunity to advance in my career path, and have pushed me to continue my relationship with the company, through an apprenticeship after I graduate.” When he successfully completes the four-year apprenticeship, Jones will be qualified as a journeyman.
“Hire Tech is important to us because it gives us a chance to impact the lives of young people. It’s part of our ‘Making Manufacturing Cool
Again’ initiative,” Kaczmarczyk said. “It allows us to show them that there’s more to the dance than just coming in with a new pair of shoes. There’s substance. It isn’t superficial. Hire Tech has created a process that provides that substance, and we like that.”
About Conexus Indiana:
Conexus Indiana is Indiana’s advanced manufacturing and logistics initiative, dedicated to making Indiana a global leader. Conexus is focused on strategic priorities such as workforce development, creating new industry partnerships, and promoting Indiana’s advantages in manufacturing and logistics. Learn more at www.ConexusIndiana.com.