Manufacturers, schools join in '100-in-100' program

NORTH BAY – This week will see the kickoff for enrollment in "100-in-100," an innovative program to put high school students up close with local manufacturers.

The brainchild of 101MFG, a private alliance of Northern California manufacturers, 100 Sonoma County companies will host job-shadows, five-day internships and Summer 2012 internships for 100 days, starting February, 2012.

“Once our students and manufacturers have the opportunity to learn more about each other, we intend to let nature – and the industry's need for the next generation of highly skilled workers and engineers – take hold,” said 101MFG President, Dick Herman.

Sonoma County high school juniors and seniors are the initial targets, although the program’s creators hope to expand it to all North Bay counties in the coming year.

"Even before the enrollment website for manufacturers and high schools goes live this week, we already have more than 20 manufacturers who've asked to be put on the list," said Mr. Herman.

 "These are terrific area employers who are making history with this program.”

Among the companies expressing interest are Agilent Technologies, Labcon North America, X2nSat, SRC Cables, Icore International, Raydiance, and Triformix. Mr. Herman expects that by January, 100 companies will be enrolled.

High schools interested in participating include Petaluma High School, Santa Rosa High School, St. Vincent High School, Rancho Cotate High School, Technology High School, Windsor, Piner, Cloverdale and Healdsburg High Schools, according to Stephen Jackson, director, career development ROP, Sonoma County Office of Education. 

"I can tell you the interest on the part of students and employers is very high," said Dan Sunia, president of California Tooling and Machining Apprenticeship Association, another one-of-a-kind program to provide the next generation of manufacturing workers.

 "We previewed the program and a video of involved Petaluma High students at several recent statewide events and the California Department of Education is looking at this program as a model for the future," he said. 

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