The Charlotte-Mecklenburg public school system (CMS) in North Carolina officially dedicated the new $200,000 Bosch Rexroth Advanced Manufacturing and Technology Center at the Olympic Community of Schools in Southwest Charlotte. The opening of the new Center took place on the first day of NC Advanced Manufacturing and STEM Career Awareness Week.
The new 2,839-sq.ft. center was initiated by a founding grant of $80,000 by Bosch Rexroth Corporation and the Bosch Community Fund, with additional time and resources supplied by Bosch Rexroth, the Olympic Foundation, CMS and other leading advanced manufacturing firms in the Greater Charlotte area.
The new facility will support a new Advanced Manufacturing Hub at the Olympic Community of Schools and provide Olympic High School students with hands-on experience using state-of-the-art manufacturing technologies. The new center includes the latest in metal-cutting and finishing technology, with multiple lathes, milling machines, saws and grinders, along with metrology and quality-control stations.
The Bosch Rexroth Advanced Manufacturing and Technology Center represents the collaborative efforts of industry leaders, public school officials and teachers to create opportunities in STEM-oriented careers in the greater Charlotte region and to build a local supply of highly-skilled employees for technical positions.
According to Bosch Rexroth’s Erwin Wieckowski, executive vice president, factory automation, the new center is part of a strategy to get young people excited about opportunities in manufacturing. Says Wieckowski, “Filling key technical positions in our factory here in Charlotte has never been harder. Our investment in the new Advanced Manufacturing and Technology Center will help us to build the technically-skilled workforce that we need locally. That’s something that all of us in the manufacturing community can rally around.”
The Bosch Rexroth Advanced Manufacturing and Technology Center will be available for OCS students beginning with the 2015-16 school year.
In addition to Bosch Rexroth and the Bosch Community Fund , companies donating equipment or funds include Cosen Saws, USA, Livingston & Haven, MSC Industrial Supply, Siemens and Steele Creek Printing.
The equipment includes 2 JET 1440 manual lathes, 2 JET EMT-949 manual vertical mills, a CNC - Haas TL-1 tool room lathe, a CNC - Haas TL-1 tool room lathe, a CNC – Haas TM-1 tool room vertical mill, a JET – VBBS-20 vertical band saw, a Cosen SH-460M horizontal band saw, a) pedestal grinder, (1) a drill press, a surface grinder and a JET – EVS-20 tap and electronic variable-speed drill press.
The Olympic Community of Schools consists of five theme-based high schools housed within the Olympic High School campus, and it is part of the Bill and Melinda Gates small school movement. The five schools are the School of Executive Leadership & Entrepreneurial Development; RenaissanceSchool; Biotechnology, Health and Public Administration; Technology, Entrepreneurism, & Advanced Manufacturing; and the School of Math, Engineering, Technology and Science. Since converting to a small school operational model in 2006, EOC test scores have increased by over 65% at Olympic, and the small school campus has been recognized nationally by corporate leaders such as Microsoft for their innovation and focus in better preparing 21st-century students for success in school, work and life.