OpEx Innovating Education: A Collaborative Investment in Technical Skills

In a notable act of cross-sector collaboration, a unique project unfolded in the Cornell School District in Wisconsin.

In a notable act of cross-sector collaboration, a unique project unfolded in the Cornell School District in Wisconsin. This initiative saw Atlas Manufacturing (Atlas MFG) donate a CO2 laser to the school, facilitated by the efforts of On Point Solutions and OpEx. The project was a considerable investment in the district's technical education program and a testament to the power of partnership and forward-thinking. Here, we delve into the details of this initiative, its impact, and its implications for the future.

The Context
In an era where technical skills are increasingly in demand, Cornell School has been proactive. They have heavily invested in their technical education program, leveraging state grants to enhance their offerings. The district took its tech ed students on a tour of Advanced Laser in Chippewa Falls, a customer of On Point-Solutions, where they saw a Bystronic laser on the shop floor. Inspired by this, the Tech Ed Director reached out on the Bystronic website about acquiring a laser for the school. Although budget constraints initially shifted the focus to a press brake, a surprising development soon unfolded.

The Event
At the same time, Atlas MFG in Chippewa Falls was attempting to donate their old Mitsubishi CO2 laser to a different school district. When that plan fell through, James Taraboi from On Point Solutions connected Atlas MFG with Cornell School. The two parties managed to agree on the donation of the CO2 laser, and a new plan was set in motion.

In collaboration with Cornell School, Atlas MFG, and On Point Solutions, Josh Peterson from OpEx was willing to donate the time of their service tech to decommission and recommission the donated CO2 laser. The only request was the opportunity to do public relations pieces about the project, all in the hope that if the school district got the grant approved, they would purchase a Bystronic press brake from On Point Solutions. And indeed, it worked out.

The Impact
Although the project is still in its early stages with the press brake delivered just two weeks ago and school currently on summer break, the potential impact is considerable. The investment in technical education will provide students with more options after high school and bring the technology of the local shops into the school's department. This project marks the second press brake purchased by a school district in Wisconsin, indicating a shift towards investment in technical education programs after decades of emphasis on college education.

The Cornell School District project represents a significant step towards equipping the future generation with necessary technical skills. The donation by Atlas MFG, the facilitation by On Point Solutions, and the labor contribution by OpEx demonstrate how different sectors can collaborate for the future of metal fabrication. The initiative also underscores the importance of practical exposure to technical education for students, preparing them for various career paths after high school.

In the coming months, we look forward to seeing the laser and press brake in action, and we hope to share more stories and pictures of students benefiting from this generous investment. Stay tuned!