Students Get Real World Manufacturing Experience

Students Get Real World Manufacturing Experience
Posted on 04/16/2021
Student works on machine After a year of navigating virtual learning, Bay Link Manufacturing ® instructor Andy Belongia and his students are excited to get back to work. Bay Link Manufacturing ® is a manufacturing learning lab for students located in Green Bay’s West High School. Bay Link is equipped to complete projects for local companies in the areas of industrial welding, machine fabrication and metals. Juniors and seniors at any Green Bay Area Public School District school are eligible to apply for entrance into the program. Students receive high school credit as well as college credit from Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (NWTC) upon completion of the program.

“I’m very excited that my students will have the opportunity this semester to experience the Bay Link Manufacturing ® program in-person,” said Belongia. “Hands-on learning, collaborating with classmates and completing projects for local companies is the true Bay Link experience.” 

Since returning to in-person learning, Bay Link Manufacturing ® students have been working on completing orders for metal garden stakes. Sales of the garden stakes help support the program. Belongia expects to produce approximately 500 stakes, earning $1,500 to be used for program equipment, materials and student scholarships. 

Based on how well the Bay Link Manufacturing ® business does each year, students are eligible to receive a profit-sharing scholarship for their work in the program. “The student scholarship component of Bay Link really teaches our kids responsibility, and the cause and effect of a job well done,” said Belongia. 

In addition to the garden stakes, students have been working on completing jobs for local companies including KI and ACE Marine. Students will also be building metal brackets to attach new solar panels to the roof of a District school, Aldo Leopold Community School. 

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Bay Link students built standing desks for students at Edison Middle School. Bay Link students had to do an abundance of research to determine the best design and height for the student desks. The desks will be delivered this school year. 

Belongia expressed his excitement for a new laser engraver purchased through grant funds for the West High School Technical Education Department. “The laser engraver will be a great learning tool for our students,” Belongia said. “Companies typically like to have their part numbers engraved directly on the part, and this piece of machinery will allow us to do that for our customers.”

Belongia expects to be busy with projects for customers for the rest of the 2020-21 school year, and hopes to connect with more local companies to show them what Bay Link Manufacturing ® has to offer. “Sometimes when company representatives tour our shop, they are surprised at the equipment capabilities, the machines we have, and the abilities of our students to complete real-world work,” said Belongia. “Our shop contains quality industrial equipment which allows us to produce products efficiently, accurately and at a competitive cost.” 

Students enrolled in Bay Link Manufacturing® are typically prepared to attend a 2- or 4-year college to pursue education in the field of manufacturing and engineering, or may be prepared to enter the world of work in an entry-level position. To learn more about Bay Link Manufacturing ®, visit gbaps.org/baylinkmanufacturing. To contact the shop regarding a business opportunity, email sales@baylinkmfg.org.
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