Updated: Nov 19, 2020
by Jim Gorman
During the Summer of 2020, I was fortunate to participate in the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) Perkins Teacher Summer Externship Program. The teachers are immersed in an employer’s business so they can bring back to the classroom what students will need to be successful in the real-world. Waters Corporation of Milford graciously hosted me this summer externship.
I was impressed by the Waters’ focus not only on science and technology but also on keeping their customers at the forefront of everything they do. My focus was on their Manufacturing Operations process which included planning, purchasing, material handling, fabrication, assembly, test, and distribution. The COVID-19 pandemic sheds interesting light on the whole process. In particular, I was very interested in how they kept their global supply chain running the best they could during this unprecedented time. Another takeaway was the skilled and unskilled professionals working at Waters. I was impressed with their ability to take an interested and eager person and train them for a particular task. Employees were valued not only for their work product but how they interacted with others, soft skills. It made for a very collaborative experience. This brings me the most important takeaway that can be transferred to any employment situation, soft skills.
After the onsite/ virtual externship experience, teachers were task to develop at least one unit that they can bring back to the classroom to prepare their students for employment. While I have developed two units of lessons, there are many more takeaways that I will incorporate into my classes. All the unit lesson plans will be available through DESE’s Contextual Learning Portal (http://resources21.org/cl/). A special thanks to Blackstone Valley Education Foundation (https://bveducationfoundation.org) and MassHire Central Region Workforce Board (https://masshirecentral.com) for coordinating this outstanding experience.
BVEF is proud of the collaborative efforts with Waters Corporation, MassHire Central Workforce Board, Fitchburg State University, and Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) that led to Mr. Jim Gorman's successful externship.
Over the summer of 2020, 42 academic and technical teachers were placed in externships at companies, nonprofit organizations, and agencies across the state. These placements were part of the work-placed learning units created as a result of a state-funded teacher externship program by the Office of College, Career, and Technical Education.
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