Widefield School District 3 is unveiling an innovative program that’s putting the emphasis back on vocational education.
The Manufacturing Industry Learning Lab, or “MILL”, is a unique partnership between the Widefield and Peyton school districts. It combines the Advance Woods Manufacturing program that’s been in Peyton for the past two years with a new Building Trades and Construction program sponsored by the Colorado Springs HBA.
Industries suffering under a shortage of trained workers have donated $3 million worth of equipment to the lab.
Superintendent Scott Campbell says “MILL” will help fill that need: "Probably every kid can't go to college so there are millions of jobs in manufacturing, building, and construction that are going unfilled and I think as school districts we have a responsibility to provide these kinds of options for kids so they can have a good career path outside of high school."
Peyton School Superintendent Tim Kistler echoes those sentiments: "We want to be able to give the students those soft skills, the knowledge to be able to go into the work force and be able to function at a level to where they could help a business grow."
Students from Peyton and Widefield will have access to the lab and will earn multiple credits toward their required course work. Eventually colleges and businesses may be able to train workers on the equipment in the evenings.