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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Ben Barber Program Manufacturing Results

 Advanced Precision Metal Manufacturing Program: (L-R)
Miranda Small, Raquel Frantz, Ethan Welch, Eric Lucas,
Khalil Wines, Dylan Deen, Javier Garcia, Christopher Richards,
Bradley Ivie, Logan Hawkins, Christian Kinnison,
James Ferguson, and Mr. Ron Johnson.
Instructor Ron Johnson had no clue what he was getting himself into when he was asked to lead Ben Barber Tech Career Academy’s new Advanced Precision Metal Manufacturing (APMM) program.

All he knew was that he was committed to the mission: getting students prepared for the real world.

The program partners with five local companies to give students a hands-on experience of the manufacturing industry. Students can even get forklift certified by the end of their internships.

“It really is a cutting-edge program,” said Johnson. “These students are manufacturing things like drills and aerospace parts. They work very hard.”

And now, the hard work is starting to pay off. The APMM program received an award Wednesday from Texas Workforce Solutions of Tarrant County for its economic involvement within the community.

The organization honored Ben Barber Career Tech Academy, Mansfield Economic Development Corporation, Cam-Tech, Drill King, Fluidic Technologies, Klein Tools, and Trinity Forge—all the entities involved in a collaboration that is preparing the future generation.

Javier Garcia, a Frontier High School senior enrolled in APPM, said the program helped him decide what he wanted to do for a living.

“I knew I liked to build things and work with my hands, but I still didn't know what I wanted to do. After taking a few classes in the program, I decided that engineering was going to become my career.”

And for some students, the effects of the class will last beyond their graduation date.

“Companies already want to employ some of my students after they graduate. Not too many people can say that. I’d say it’s been a good first year,” said Johnson.

The APMM program is expected to grow next school year with two more local companies taking part.