916 Career and Technical Center partnership with 3M provides safety gear for students
Since 1978, the Career and Technical Center (CTC) engineering, manufacturing and technology programs have been staying safe with the latest technology in personal protective equipment (PPE) thanks to a partnership with 3M. Every year, 3M has donated hundreds of safety glasses, hearing protectors and other specialized safety gear in exchange for Northeast Metro 916 and Century College providing 3M staff and partners with hands-on training in the auto shop, giving them the opportunity to experience the equipment in a real-life setting.
CTC Auto Dismantling Teacher Tony Waldner has been overseeing the partnership since 1990, working with Kevin Malley, head of PPE at 3M. Typically two times a year, Tony donates his time to train staff from 3M partner organizations, most of whom have never been behind the scenes in an auto shop.
Over 20 staff from a 3M distribution company joined Waldner on September 16, where they donned PPE equipment and rotated through hands-on welding, metal scraping and car painting stations. While some of the employees were hesitant to try their hand at welding, they all enjoyed the experience and said that it will help them do their jobs better by having a more thorough understanding of how the equipment is used at a real job site.
In turn, 3M’s Kevin Malley and Don Garvey were teachers for the day on September 18, presenting students with important safety information about how to best use each type of PPE. After the presentation, students received their own pair of safety glasses and hearing protectors to use throughout the year in their respective auto dismantling, automotive technology, environmental services, construction occupations or diesel truck and engine technology course at CTC.
Waldner estimates that each year, the value of the partnership is around $1,500.
Northeast Metro 916 is one of three intermediate school districts in Minnesota, serving approximately 4,000 students through shared programming that includes career and technical education, special education services, area learning centers and elementary education.