Batesville H.S. students get real-world look at workforce

Students in the class get to tour local businesses.
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Governor Mike Pence has made a big push for improving education and workforce development for Hoosiers at the high school level.

Batesville is very familiar with the idea, because it has been doing that for some time.

Getting out is all part of the school day in Batesville. Tuesday, the Engineering and Technology class will be held at Batesville Casket Company.

"It's a really nice tie-in to see everything they have learned is valuable to them and they can apply it out in the world," Engineering and Technology teacher Craig Hughes observed.

Batesville Casket manufactures 550-600 caskets a day out of their Batesville facility, which is one of four in the U.S. and Mexico.

"This is a good example of how humane interest and machines can work together to make the same kind of product," said Stephen Schaumberg, a junior at Batesville High School and one of the students participating in the tour.

It's all part of the Advance Manufacturing and Logistics Curriculum at Batesville High School. It helps companies address the skills gap and it helps students get a career.

"The student has the opportunity working with the manufacturer to finish his or her degree and perhaps go on from there but also leave high school gainfully employed in a very well-paying job in a space where talent is needed," said Chris Lowery, the Director of Public Policy and Engagement at Hillenbrand, Inc.

Lowery also just so happens to be president of the school board in Batesville, so he can see the big picture.

"Students will be one semester shy if they go through the entire program of an associate degree," Lowery added.

"You know I can see a lot of people doing that and I think it would be a great opportunity," Schaumberg observed.

So these students are getting an opportunity of a lifetime. The curriculum is a partnership between Ivy Tech, Batesville High School and local businesses, like Batesville Casket.