Join Kipp Bradford for an in-depth discussion in this video Davies High School, part of Skilled Trades: Manufacturing Careers.
- Hi, I'm Briar Dacier, I'm the machine technology instructor, here at Davies Career and Tech High School. - Hi, I'm Steve Cardoso, electronics engineering technology instructor, here at Davies Tech. - I took it over when the old machine instructor retired. - Well, I've been here at Davies for 31 years, all in the electronics technology department. We've seen a big change over those 30 years. - That's been my primary focus, is to improve the program, get the attraction of students in, and also get some state legislators to recognize the importance of manufacturing in Rhode Island. - It's really important that we're graduating students who are capable of moving right into the workforce. - I'm actually a graduate of the program. So, I'm fortunate to know what the program was when I was here, and know what industry wants and needs, and I was able to, kind of, morph those two worlds together, to come in here and really understand the needs of the students, and the needs of industry. - And what we're seeing now is almost like a rebirth in the electronics manufacturing area. It's gone more high tech now. - I actually have a former graduate of mine, who was hired by a local machine shop, and they actually went out and purchased a $250,000 piece of equipment dedicated for that one person, that one student, because they showed up every day, they were super driven, they kept their area immaculate. Everything was organized, they were sweeping between the cycle runs, and they were just, they were hungry, they wanted to learn more. - Students are introduced to the electronics engineering technology beginning in their freshman year, where they learn the basics of electronics, but also, in that same vein, we want to also introduce them to hands-on performance tasks, such as soldering, using test equipment, things of that nature. And it's a slow progression all the way through their senior year. - They all think it's going overseas, it's all in China, it's dirty, it's grimy, it's an area where you don't want to be, you won't make a lot of money, you're going to work in a factory. Those are all things that I'm up against when I recruit students into my program. So, a lot of these parents and these grandparents, that was reality, back then, that is not reality now. So, jobs are coming back. We're realizing that, you know, everything going overseas, you need about 10 parts to make one good one. So, if you have to order a 10,000 order part, just to get 1,000 good ones, that's not good. That's not good. We have several students doing work-based learning, which affords them an opportunity, in their senior year, to go out three days a week, instead of coming to school and being in my classroom, they're using AstroNova, which is a worldwide manufacturer. They're using that as their classroom. And they're doing all the specifics, such as soldering, rework, box build. And they're learning from industry people, which is much better than coming here and learning it from a teacher. They're actually out in the workforce. - Anything in the CNC world, that is the big drive right now. CNC, automation, robotics, knowing how to understand maintenance on machines. You have all these machines, so you need people that can come in and maintain the equipment, and people who can come in and run these CNC machines, and other people who can actually set the CNC machines up. Not just push buttons, but also be able to understand the process, from blueprint to final product. - Our students receive certifications from IPC, which enable them to walk out of Davies, and apply for things such as solderers, which can include box build, which are people who put the circuits and the assemblies together. They could actually do rework, which is, they would get circuit boards that need some repair. Or they may work in QC, which they would look at a circuit board and be able to see, is this on target with what it's supposed to do, or what it's supposed to look like. - When I first started soldering in the shop, it definitely wasn't the easiest. You have to be careful not to put too much solder, not too little, because if you put too much, then it becomes, like a bubble, and you don't want that. That's not acceptable. If you don't put enough, the part might not stay. - What we find more often than not, is that we have more opportunities than we do students. The opportunities are out there, we can fill all the positions. It's just the matter of having that right fit between student and opportunity. - And you also have to be careful that it'll create tombstoning, so that's basically when the part's, like, at a angle. Or, it'll just create, like, a big bubble, which you don't want. Which means the iron wasn't hot enough, so you have to make sure it's hot enough. And, you always want to put solder on the metal piece of it, before you even start. - The electronics engineering technology program is really part of a group of programs in the pre-engineering department. So we're just one third of the pre-engineering department. We also have computer and software engineering, and robotics and mechanical engineering. So, students in the ninth grade year, they'll rotate through the skill areas associated with Davies, and then, somewhere around the third quarter, they decide, hey, I think that's the skill area that I want to focus the rest of my high school career on. So, EET, electronics engineering technology, is part of the pre-engineering department, here at Davies.