In Spencer, Indiana, Owen Valley High School students have the opportunity to operate a printing business as part of their education.
On Aug. 2, 2019, Regional Opportunity Initiatives (ROI) awarded Spencer-Owen Community Schools with a $500,000 grant to support its "multi-year strategic plan with initiatives focused on curriculum alignment, career awareness, project-based learning, employability skills development, professional development for teachers, and innovative and collaborative learning environments," according to ROI.
With these initiatives came the creation of Patriot Manufacturing, a student-run printing business in its first year of operation after a full year of preparing and training. The school put $100,000 of the grant money toward the program to make it possible for students to work with equipment for laser engraving, screen printing, embroidering, vinyl cutting, custom printing, and heat pressing.
As of Jan. 20, Owen Valley High School has 40 students from a variety of classes participating in the program. Senior student Nechole Klee serves as the office manager for Patriot Manufacturing, helping her gain "people skills" and serving as a "safety net" for her peers, according to Indiana Public Media.
Junior Kaleb Dill works as the marketing manager. He tells the media outlet he sees the program improving his leadership skills and time mangement, both helping prep him for college.
The students sell their custom-printed products in the school’s spirit shop for students and faculty to purchase.
According to the Patriot Manufacturing website, its mission is to "educate and prepare students for their lives after high school by providing both technical and employability skills, while creating superior products and services for the Spencer-Owen Community Schools and surrounding industries."
Find work order forms and more information here.