ARCADIA, Wi. – A mobile skills classroom is ready to hit the road - designed to provide 300 competency-based high school-level courses in electronics, manufacturing, automation, and robotics. These courses will support the skills needed for today's high-demand career fields.
 
Developed by Trempealeau Valley Cooperative, which includes four Wisconsin school districts, Ashley Furniture invested more than $3 million in state-of-the-art equipment for the lab.
 
“We believe in the importance of developing long-lasting partnerships with our local schools and investing in the area of education for our youth,” said Ron Wanek, founder and chairman of Ashley. “The Mobile Skills Laboratory will inspire students to learn advanced technologies through an interactive learning environment that can result in rewarding careers in many different industries.”
 

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The 900-square-foot classroom on wheels features advanced equipment from Amatrol, Fanuc, Yaskawa and SolidWorks to expose students to industry-standard processes. Amatrol designs, develops and manufactures technical learning systems, highly interactive eLearning, hands-on simulators, and more to train tomorrow’s global workforce for many diverse industries such as manufacturing, healthcare, automotive and agriculture.

Enrolled students will have the opportunity to learn about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) related fields, including electrical, wiring, motor controls, programming, print reading, mechanical fabrication, precision gauging, hydraulics, pneumatics, troubleshooting, and computer-aided drafting. A large number of these courses will also provide students with transferable credit to area technical colleges and potential universities.

The four-school consortium will each host the Mobile Skills Laboratory at their school district on a nine-week rotational schedule.
 
Ashley has developed a number of partnerships with K-12 as well as post-secondary schools over the past five years. Combined efforts have included investing in STEM-based learning opportunities, scholarships, providing students with exposure to technical trades and career opportunities, instructor training, and robotics programs. As manufacturing continues to advance and the global economy evolves, training and educating our current and future workforce will be a crucial part of our country’s success.
 

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