Appleton, WI -When the manufacturers in Northeast Wisconsin approached the Exploring branch of the Boy Scouts of America for help developing their future workforce, they had apparently done their homework. Since 1971 Exploring has been a powerhouse of workforce development in America. In Northeast Wisconsin, the Bay Lakes Council of the Boy Scouts of America has over 56 Explorer post currently supporting over 2,400 Explorers, and there are several other councils throughout the state. Coast to coast government agencies and corporations have come to rely on Exploring to provide a steady flow of qualified candidates. Shifting the focus to manufacturing/STEM promises to do the same for our local manufacturing companies looking to overcome a critical skilled labor shortage.
Exploring is an interactive, worksite-based career education program. This program provides companies the opportunity to pre-screen future applicants and train them from an early age. Participants in the program are called Explorers or Explorer Scouts and gather in clubs (age 10-13) or post (age 14-20). Exploring provides exciting activities and one-on-one mentorship for youth looking to discover their future. Whether you’re a company is looking to strengthen your future workforce or a young person wanting to uncover the possibilities of their future, exploring is a great place to start. The Exploring Manufacturing Initiative is a specialty focus program created specifically to interest, train, and fill a future manufacturing workforce. We have created skilled-trades, IT, and manufacturing management clubs and post chartered and insured to provide our Explorers this live experience. We have also partnered with SkillsUSA and local schools creating one of the most effective manufacturing workforce recruiting programs available anywhere in the country.
Dakota is 14 years old and a middle school student in the Fox Valley. He is also one of the first students to enter the manufacturing program. When asked why he wanted to join this program his answer involved a love for Legos, engineering, and robotics. He also indicated that he liked the Exploring model because it allowed him to “check out” manufacturing career options that he had never thought about before. His sister is on track as the second Explore; she wants to see how art and IT come together in manufacturing. Younger brother Max is going to be the third member of that family to join, and other families are lining up in the same way. Every day our numbers grow, and that means more qualified manufacturing workers are on their way in the years to come
If you would like to benefit from this amazing program, please contact Jack Ekins, Bay Lakes Council Exploring Manufacturing Executive at 920-540-6571 or email [email protected].