See the latest progress at National Training Center
January 18, 2017 | 8:33 am CST
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- The Peyton and Widefield School Districts have announced the establishment of the National Manufacturing Training Center. This initiative will provide advanced manufacturing-trade training to students in the local area, the likely future of the labor force.

People from the woodworking industry who are interested in learning more about this partnership can visit the Peyton-Widefield Vocational Education Campus, E 4450 Foreign Trade Zone Boulevard Colorado Springs, Colorado 80925.

An open house event will be held Wednesday, February 8 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Interested parties can see the new home to the National  Manufacturing Training Center as it is being developed.

The National Manufacturing Training Center is scheduled to open in August 2017. 

In the fall of 2015, Peyton 23-JT Superintendent Tim Kistler hired Dean Mattson to teach state-of-the-art woodworking manufacturing classes. Mattson is a former professional cabinetmaker who started a similar program at a high school in Oregon that was a success. The program became known as the Peyton Woods Manufacturing Program with a shop that includes more than $800,000 in loaned equipment from some of the industry's biggest names. 

Widefield School District Superintendent Scott Campbell was impressed by the potential of the program after attending an open house. He jumped at the opportunity to get his students involved. In the spring of 2016, Widefield sent 30 students to Peyton to be a part of the program. There is now 180 students from six school districts taking the Peyton Woods program every day. 

The success of the program, in less than a year, prompted Mattson, Kistler and Campbell to create a partnership that will allow the program to expand in Southern Colorado. The two school districts entered into a partnership through the Peyton/Widefield Vocational Education Campus, which houses a 46,000-square-foot building located south of the Colorado Springs Airport. 

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Karl Forth

Karl D. Forth is online editor for CCI Media. He also writes news and feature stories in FDMC Magazine, in addition to newsletters and custom publishing projects. He is also involved in event organization, and compiles the annual FDM 300 list of industry leaders. He can be reached at [email protected].