Company: Cardinal Manufacturing
Founded in: 2007
What they do: The Cardinal Manufacturing project at the Eleva-Strum School District has grown since its humble beginnings in 2007 to garner regional, statewide, and national attention as a public/private partnership aimed towards encouraging manufacturing careers for students, educators and parents.
How they’re growing: The district receives numerous inquiries (many from out of state) on a weekly basis for information on starting a program to very specific questions about business aspects. While there are other school-based manufacturing models, this one is unique in having multiple manufacturing clients (up to 100 in one year) that submit job orders. Unlike other schools in which the students in technology class may make grills, picnic tables, wooden garden sheds to sell to the community or make a product for one specific company, Cardinal Manufacturing has developed a model in which students fully run the company within the high school. The students (employees) don’t build anything until they have an order or blueprint in hand. They are also supported by a manufacturing advisory council.
What they’re saying: “Cardinal Manufacturing is a best-in-class example that not only introduces students to manufacturing in its various forms, but to many of the related employment opportunities as well. Issues such as soft skills, profit and loss, customer service, quality and all other components of a successful business are baked in that experience.” – S. Mark Tyler, President of OEM Fabricators, Inc.