Will allow teachers to experience first-hand the work situations their students will face.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Oct. 8, 2014) — Ford Motor Company Fund and UAW Ford today announced a grant of $350,000 to pilot an education program that will bring teams of teachers into the Louisville Assembly Plant to experience first-hand the work situations their students will face.
The program, called the “Ford NGL Collaborative Learning Externship (CLE),” is aimed at building real-world partnerships between teachers, students and manufacturing in Louisville, a Ford Next Generation Learning (NGL) community.
Ford NGL, which is part of the Ford Fund, helps prepare students for college and career by bridging the gap between classroom learning and the lessons of actual workplace experience. The grant is part of $1 million in new scholarships, grants and career outreach programs that the Ford Fund, Ford’s philanthropic arm, is launching globally this month to further its commitment to education.
“The CLE will help engage students in their field of interest by teaching lessons and skills in the real-world context of a career,” said Bill Dirksen, Ford vice president, Labor Affairs. “It will make the future workforce stronger because teachers will better understand the needs of business, and students will benefit by developing the skills and workplace knowledge necessary to get the good jobs.”
The grant will fund professional development over two years and also broaden the concept to include other types of business.
Teams of teachers from two Jeffersontown High School career academies helped pilot the program this summer by spending two days inside Ford’s Louisville Assembly Plant. The 30 teachers were able to observe the many steps involved in building automobiles — from the timing and teamwork on the assembly line to the problem solving when issues arise. The teachers took what they learned back to the classroom to strengthen a student project to build life-sized cardboard boats. Nearly 2,000 students will benefit from the first phase of the CLE program, but that number is expected to grow as more communities implement the plan.