Focus on the Classroom: Boeing’s Core Plus Program Takes Off


Manufacturing Curriculum

As part of February's CTE Month, Spokane STEM is reposting this CTE story that appeared in the Spokane Public Schools CTE Connections Newsletter.

In efforts to replace the alarming number of retiring skilled laborers in the manufacturing industry, the Boeing Company initiated an impressive team of their own instructors, manufacturers and state education representatives to develop a manufacturing curriculum. That curriculum is called Core Plus, with the “Core” part teaching entry-level skills that most manufacturers need using math, material science, tool and equipment utilization, along with shop safety and the 21st Century skills that produce quality work performance. The “Plus” part of the curriculum addresses training in a specific area of manufacturing, whether it is marine manufacturing or the aerospace industry. 

Shadle Park High School and NEWTECH Skill Center have become Core Plus schools, training students in manufacturing skills (Core) and air frame assembly (Plus). Shadle and NEWTECH are a good fit for the program by having the space and much of the machinery needed for implementation.  At Shadle additional sheet metal equipment and welding booths were added for training. Instructor Tony Anselmo reports his students are learning the importance of developing strong manufacturing skills and understanding the properties of the materials they work with every day. For example, the drilling and riveting part of the course stresses the importance of making good connections that avoid creating possible stress points that will induce a structural failure down the road. 

Core Plus program students have been recruited for Boeing and other manufacturers right out of participating Washington high schools. Last fall, instructurs attended a training course at the Boeing Company that showed Core Plus instructors what students could expect as potential new hires for the company. The Core Plus training program, now available state-wide in over 35 locations, is providing the foundational skills for future workers who will manufacture composites, electronics and metal fabrications for the aerospace, maritime, construction, and automotive industries. Washington State Career and Technical Educational funding makes this possible at all area comprehensive high schools and skill centers. 


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