MITCHELL – Mitchell High School Cement City Industries has been recognized as a member of Conexus Student Industries, a statewide network of 15 high schools dedicated to developing advanced manufacturing and logistics talent through School-based Enterprises (SBEs).
School-based Enterprises are student-run and -operated businesses that design, manufacture, and commercialize products or services in a school setting. The Conexus Student Industries network connects students, teachers, and industry in creative ways to strengthen existing SBE programs and provide tools for new program development and program enhancement.
“Cement City Industries is proud to be a part of a fantastic network of individuals who are focused on School-based Enterprises,” said Mitch Reed, Career and Technical Education teacher at Mitchell High School. “We are in the beginning stages of building our brand and finding our identity and the Conexus Student Industries network is invaluable in our process.”
This year, Mitchell High School is piloting Cement City Industries in the Introduction to Design Processes class. Currently, the SBE is working with internal partners within the school district to design products and solutions that solve problems for the school. The SBE plans to expand its work outside of the school district, serving the community of Mitchell and all of Lawrence County, in the future.
While Indiana schools have operated SBEs for decades, those operations have taken on new levels of sophistication and purpose in recent years to better prepare students for increasingly high-tech careers in advanced manufacturing and logistics. What commonly has featured small operations, hand-made items, and student-to-student sales, operating sophisticated production facilities with clients that include big manufacturers, municipalities, and other businesses. Industry partners have facilitated this expansion by contributing equipment, expertise, mentorship, financial support, and more to SBEs.
To accelerate this evolution, Conexus Indiana launched the Conexus Student Industries network to provide a strong platform for schools to learn and share best practices and identify and secure funding for long-term growth. The network also involves advanced manufacturing and logistics leaders who share industry needs with teachers and students while investing in a talent pipeline of high school students ready for additional education or careers in the advanced manufacturing and logistics fields.
“Indiana is quickly becoming a leader in the School-based Enterprises realm,” said Kyle Marshall, senior director of K-16 education at Conexus Indiana. “No other state is putting as much energy and expertise into supporting and connecting SBEs and engaging the business sector in their work. This is an effort that will pay dividends well into the future.”
Conexus Students Industries delivers unique programming and services to schools that join the network as Conexus Student Industries Council members, including:
- Recurring Student Industries Council meetings. These meetings bring together teachers and students at Indiana Student-based Enterprises to share best practices, interact with industry partners, and learn about supplemental resources for effective SBE operations.
- Conexus Student Industries Case Competition. The case competition is an annual virtual event with the inaugural competition scheduled for April 19, 2023. Students are challenged to demonstrate their skills in operating a student-run business. The case competition will be judged by a panel of industry leaders with cash awards granted to the top three schools in the competition.
- Support grants. Annual support grants will be awarded to qualifying student-run businesses and will support wages for summer operations, the purchase of enterprise equipment or raw materials, the creation of marketing materials, and more.
Schools interested in learning more about Conexus Student Industries or industry leaders looking to support their local SBE should contact Nikki Jagow at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to https://www.conexusindiana.com/get-involved-with-conexus-student-industries/.
About Conexus Indiana
For more than a decade, Conexus Indiana, one of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership (CICP) non-profit initiatives, has been positioning the Hoosier State as the best place for advanced manufacturing and logistics industries to innovate, invest, employ, and succeed. By collaborating with industry, academic, and public sector partners on a shared vision for an innovative, skilled workforce and stronger business climate, Conexus Indiana has helped to create opportunities for advanced manufacturing and logistics companies, prepare Hoosiers to succeed in the state’s largest industry sectors and maintain Indiana’s competitive advantage. For more information, visit conexusindiana.com.