GPS Education Partners Featured in Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Menomonee Falls — Not many high school students can say that a manufacturing company is their classroom — and their workplace — but that’s the case for about 25 students this year at Bradley Corp.
The company, which makes commercial plumbing fixtures, is one of the latest Wisconsin manufacturers to join GPS Education Partners, a Butler-based program that enables high school students to complete their studies at a company while they gain work experience.
If that sounds demanding, it is. GPS students are in classes for 21 months, without spring or summer breaks, as they finish their junior and senior years of high school.
At Bradley Corp., classes are held in a company training room — with subjects such as writing, math and social studies taught by a state certified teacher in a way that integrates the lessons with real-world experiences.
Companies say that today’s manufacturing jobs are a sharp contrast to years ago when some industries relied on low-skilled help and working conditions were poor. Now, companies have to convince parents that sending their children to work in a factory could lead to a promising career.
“I think a lot of parents don’t realize how much it’s changed,” said Diane Rudy, vice president of human resources at Bradley Corp.