Local Educators Get Hands-On Manufacturing Experience

LINCOLN, Ala. – More than 75 Alabama school teachers stepped out of their classrooms and onto the manufacturing floor at Honda Manufacturing of Alabama in Lincoln to study the career options that exist in today’s manufacturing operations.

Today’s group joins nearly 150 other teachers and more than 1,500 Alabama students who have previously participated in an innovative educational initiative known as “What’s Up In Factories?”

This marks the third year that Honda has teamed up with Alabama Public Television and Thirteen/WNET New York to help motivate and inspire high school students to consider careers in the world of modern manufacturing and explore the variety of career options available at facilities such as Honda’s vehicle and engine plant in Lincoln.

“With the continued growth of our Alabama operations, it is important for both teachers and students to learn about the wide variety of careers – from accounting and business management to computer science and engineering – that exist in the manufacturing field,” said Rick Schostek, vice president of business operations at HMA. “We are pleased to once again partner with Alabama Public Television in an effort to share the excitement of our industry with local educators. And we look forward to welcoming these teachers and their students back to Honda in the coming months.”

The What’s Up in Factories? initiative includes a curriculum package featuring a video and instruction guide with hands-on lesson plans. During next few months, participating teachers will complete the classroom portion of the program, then return to Honda with their students for a tour of the production facility.

The project, first developed by Thirteen/WNET New York provides educators with innovative techniques to teach their students about modern manufacturing facilities. Each participant in today’s training program also received a $200 grant from Honda to cover the cost of classroom materials for those who incorporate the program at their school. Honda has distributed more than $15,000 in classroom grants to teachers who have participated in the program.

What’s Up In Factories? helps teachers learn how to share with their students useful information about the skills, tools and talents necessary to succeed in a variety of manufacturing careers. Teachers are encouraged to use curriculum-based lessons, video clips and on-site factory tours to make manufacturing come alive for students, broadening their perspectives about the many and varied career opportunities the industry offers.

Teachers from middle and high schools in Talladega, Jefferson, Calhoun, Etowah and St. Clair counties participated in the program.

HMA currently employs more than 4,300 associates in the production of Odyssey minivans, Honda Pilot sport utility vehicles and the V-6 engines that power both vehicles. HMA’s investment totals more than $1.2 billion in Lincoln, which includes two assembly lines in production covering 3.1million square feet with capacity to produce 300,000 vehicles and engines each year.

A $70 million expansion at HMA’s machining facility will be completed in 2006 and will add another 100 jobs at the facility.

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