Scheels staff donate a CNC Router to MHS Career Academy

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Before students stream through the doors of the Moorhead High School Career Academy this fall, programming continues to be developed and improved. Area businesses are helping students explore and prepare for careers by donating equipment that improves industry training.

Scheels recently donated a CNC Router to the MHSCA woods lab. A computer numerical control (CNC) router is a machine that uses computer software to cut, drill, bore and mill a variety of materials. According to Hannah Reisdorf, MHSCA teacher, the two ton machine brings digital designs to life for drafting and engineering students. She says that industry is becoming more and more automated at all levels, though there will always be a need for skilled workers.

Workshops utilize CNC routers because they increase speed, accuracy, precision. While increasing production, these machines reduce waste. Scheels utilized the CNC in their woodshop to cut material for cabinets and displays used in the Scheels stores across the country. According to Luke Picard, Scheels Woodshop Leader, the machine can cut plywoods, laminated sheet goods, hard and soft plastics, hardwood and even aluminum. When Scheels updated their equipment, Picard wanted to make the technology accessible to youth by giving the machine a new home. He believes that access to a CNC Router will provide students with the opportunity to learn more about not only this specific skill set, but industry as a whole, making students more appealing and marketable in nearly every industry. 

Along with the CNC Router, Scheels donated cutoff scrap material. “The donation of material closes gaps for students who may not be able to afford paying for materials, while reducing the out of pocket expenses for all,” claims Reisdorf. 

Picard is a member of the Construction Pathway advisory board. Moorhead Area Public Schools has developed an advisory board made up of industry leaders in each career pathway, to advise on curriculum development and industry standards. These community partnerships provide valuable support to teachers, insight on skills students need to be career ready and allow the community to provide direct support to students. The goal of these efforts is to support workforce needs across the region.

Picard and Scheels took it one step further, identifying equipment needs and providing state of the art equipment for students. “The Fargo/Moorhead community has been great to Scheels, and we are continually looking for opportunities to give back. We are passionate about the students in our community, and this is one more tool to help them excel once they graduate High School and join the workforce,” said Picard.