Grant Expanding CHS Auto Tech Certifications

Thirty-nine students from Columbus High School received certification in digital multimeters, a piece of curriculum added last year through the school’s STEM Academy. Credit: Julie Blum, The Columbus Telegram

COLUMBUS — Columbus High was one of 14 schools across the state to be awarded a $50,000 reVISION Grant from the Nebraska Department of Education.

The grants fund programs that teach students the industrial and technical skills needed in today’s workforce.

CHS STEM career coordinator Heidi Elliott said the money will go toward purchasing three industrial certification kits from Snap-On for mechanical and electrical torque, precision measurement instruments and SOLUS Edge scanners.

Elliott said Snap-On certifications are recognized by local employers, as well as nationally.

“Every single one of these certifications that students add to their resume is valuable when they’re going out into the workforce because it tells them they know this piece, this equipment,” said Elliott. “It tells them they’re already educated and capable with that equipment.”

The certifications will be available through the high school’s automotive technology program and provide key skills for the industry. The district’s grant application said the SOLUS Edge scanner certification will “enable communication with significantly more vehicle computer systems.”

The other certifications have broad applications.

Elliott said precision management “can be used in almost any industry.”

The grant application said the mechanical and electrical torque certification will provide students with “working knowledge of torque theory and application,” which is a “fundamental requirement of any engineering, maintenance service or repair position.”

The grant also paid for auto technology instructor Ron Haefner to receive training so he’ll be able to oversee the certifications.

Columbus High did not receive a grant from its initial application for the 2016-17 school year, but the action plan included in the application provided a road map for the district’s STEM programs. That included partnering with Central Community College to offer dual-credit for college-level auto technology courses and offering a Snap-On certification in multimeter certification.

The district is still waiting for the funds to be released before purchasing the kits, but Elliott said the certifications will be offered this fall.

Source Article: The Columbus Telegram “Grant Expanding CHS Auto Tech Certifications

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