September 6, 2018

Partnership

Woodmark Partners with Local School for Teacher in Industry Program

We partnered with Frederick County Public Schools to launch a groundbreaking teacher training initiative this past summer known as the Teacher in Industry program. The purpose? To create a hands-on, experiential-based learning experience that teaches others about the American Woodmark (AWC) manufacturing process from beginning to end. By connecting with our community, we can positively impact the areas where we work and live and continue growing a relationship with local organizations.

Born from the idea it’s essential to give teachers and administrators first-hand experience in business and industry, the Teacher in Industry project equips them to create contextual and authentic learning experiences for students. Local business and industry officials frequently report the younger workforce continues to lack essential workplace readiness skills, particularly skills in dependability, communication and teamwork.

This inaugural Teacher in Industry program included five educators from the school system (middle and high schools) along with American Woodmark participants to guide this five-day immersion event.

Day one included cultural training, a visit to a local Design Center and time with the Customer Care team. Days two and three included tours of the Orange, South Branch and Allegany plants to see how AWC products come to life. Another day was spent at the Northeast Service Center to understand the life cycle from the winning the initial business to design, pricing and order entry. The group was also able to see the finished cabinets in new homes and learn about delivery, installation, field support and final preparation for builders and consumers. The final day rounded out the week with time spent in each functional area of the organization including Human Resources, Finance, Marketing, Supply Chain and Engineering. The balance of the last day was reflecting on the program and creating a pathway to incorporate learnings into their classroom setting.

The Teachers in Industry group provided their feedback of the overall experience, content and learning and where there was room for improvement in future sessions. The feedback was exceptionally positive:

“This program is a direct relation to career and college readiness for our students and connects staff to the community workforce.”

“It gives us...insight into how we should be preparing our students to meet the needs of private employers, as well as the skills we can work into the curriculum at the margins. There are also elements of AWC culture that are directly applicable to the classroom, or suitable with some modification."

“I would recommend this program on many levels. This program from a professional development level was second to none...the intrinsic value acquired from the professionals at American Woodmark was tremendous. Throughout this program, I was surrounded by people who loved what they did everyday and that made me be believe in the system that they had in place.”

“I will be quoting Dwayne for the next 10 years in my classroom; I can’t even tell you the names of the last five in-service sessions I participated in, that’s how impactful this program was to me.”

The participants from the Frederick County Public School System were able to earn 40 hours of credit for participation and could earn an additional 40 hours by creating lesson plans and other ways of incorporating what they learned into the educational system. American Woodmark benefited by continuing its vision of active involvement in the community in hopes that more teachers, administrators and students will learn about the cabinet industry and find themselves a part of the American Woodmark team.

The 2019 Teacher in Industry program will happen in June 2019 and will expand to 10 participants due to the great success from this year’s program.

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