Jasper Engines & Transmissions kicked off a business simulation project with Loogootee High School (LHS) in Indiana. Since the beginning of the program, at the start of the 2016-2017 school year, the program’s intention has been to introduce high school students to LEAN principles, and life skills, that will better prepare them for future career opportunities. The program is a partnership between JASPER, the DirectEmployers Association and Loogootee High School.
“Since early last year, JASPER created a curriculum that challenges students to collaborate with one another, and use creativity in solving problems,” said Mark Balsmeyer, JASPER project administrator. “One of the classrooms at Loogootee High School was upgraded to mirror the facilities at our Power Drive location.”
30 students are enrolled in the initial program. They receive training and support from three primary volunteers from JASPER, three teachers from LHS, and one primary manager from the DirectEmployers Association. “The kids have done a wonderful job of using the tools they've learned and getting involved,” Balsmeyer said.
JASPER standards are introduced to students in order to mimic conditions that represent current hiring requirements. These include: getting to class on time, wearing a grey t-shirt, name tag and tucking in their shirt. “These are simple standards that sometimes get taken for granted,” said Balsmeyer.
JASPER volunteered to teach two periods, once a week, in order to share business standards with students. These simulations included: creating intuitive work, practicing Continuous Improvement, creating standards, career opportunity identification and safety awareness.
“These simulations help to prepare students for future career decisions and to open doors to potential job opportunities at JASPER,” added Balsmeyer. “All of this continues to promote JASPER as the Company of Choice for our Associate-Owners.”