Medical Vocational Schools

Search For Vocational Schools By State


Schools By State

Job Outlook Information


Clinical Laboratory

Dental Assistant

Diagnostic Medical Sonographers

Massage Therapist

Medical Administrative Assistant

Medical Assistants

Dental Ophthalmic Laboratory Tech

Health Information Tech

Medical Transcriptionists

Nuclear Medicine Technologists

Nurses Aide

Occupational Therapy

Personal Home Care Aides

Physical Therapist

Personal Fitness Trainer

Psychiatric Assistant

Radiologic Technician

Surgical Technologist

Veterinary Technician


Home > Article Categories > Medical Vocational Articles > Chicago School Preparing Students for High-Skill Manufacturing Jobs

Chicago School Preparing Students for High-Skill Manufacturing Jobs

Chicago, IL has a program designed to put Americans to work in high-skill manufacturing jobs. Austin Polytechnical Academy is a public school whose goal is to train U.S. students for jobs in the exciting and quickly advancing world of skilled industrial trades.

The International Manufacturing Technology Show is the largest such show in the United States. In 1980, 90 percent of the exhibitors were American companies. This number has fallen to about 10 percent. High school students from Austin Polytechnical Academy recently visited the show, where they were lectured by Bill Vogal, a school administrator and former factory owner. Students also asked exhibitors about their products and services. It was designed to be a good introduction to globalized industry and encourage students to enter such fields after graduation.

Austin Polytechnical Academy is located in a poor neighborhood, but is Chicago's only career academy dedicated to high-skill manufacturing occupations. It was founded in 2007 by Dan Swinney, chairman of the Chicago Manufacturing Renaissance Council, as a Chicago Public Schools "performance school." The Academy strives to redefine vocational education, combining mechanical and engineering education to create a new generation of advanced manufacturers that will hopefully breathe new life into Chicago's manufacturing industry. Austin Polytechnical Academy's first class will graduate this year. ?We?re proposing the revitalization of this nation?s economy, and places like Austin should be at the forefront of that, not left behind,? said Swinney.

The Chicago News Cooperative interviewed three honors students from the program. Deandre Joyce, 17, who spent the summer interning with Hudson Precision Products Company in Broadview, aims at a career in high-tech manufacturing. Stran'ja Burge, 18, who is looking for careers that might be outside of manufacturing, and currently taking advanced-placement calculus. Marqulese Travae Booker, 17, who entered the Academy because of its proximity to his home rather than for its educational direction now hopes to go on to university and is considering a degree in mechanical engineering.

The Academy's curriculum contains healthy amounts of liberal arts courses, but students are required to graduate with two nationally recognized manufacturing credentials given by the National Institute for Metalworking Skills. Such documents demonstrate their competency to potential employers in high-paying fields where entry-level salaries can reach $65,000. ?We find in our education system to have a bias toward college prep,? Mr. Vogal said. ?There are different options.?

The Academy's first graduated class will be watched closely by others seeking to pursue similar educational programs. The next steps that Austin Polytech grads take may be a good assessment of how well the Academy fulfills its mission statement. This is important to those hoping to fill the nations estimated three million vacant positions in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM jobs). It is seen by many that the U.S. must encourage interest in and reverse the decline of skilled trades in order to stay competitive in the global economy. Experts have estimated that by 2020, there could be between 12 and 24 million vacant STEM jobs in the U.S.

Swinney wants to combat the prevailing prejudice against manufacturing jobs that imagines them to be unskilled and ow-paying. He wants to, instead, push the high-tech jobs that offer secure employment and good salaries.

Vocational Medical Schools

Permission is granted to reproduce this article as long as the above resource paragraph is left in tact with active links.


Find a Medical Vocational School

Advertise Now