An established, ready-to-go curriculum and support from the school board and school administration helped bring Core Plus Aerospace to Vancouver Public Schools (VPS).  

“It took zero time to get access to the curriculum,” said Mark Wreath, director of career and college readiness at VPS. “The curriculum was available as soon as we contacted OSPI. The curriculum has all the tools to provide instruction to students in skills that are industry validated.”  

VPS also trained a passionate instructor with an interest in manufacturing to ensure a strong start to its Core Plus Aerospace program, which is hosted at Fort Vancouver High School (FVHS). FVHS is a magnet school serving students from across the district. Prior to teaching at the school, Nicholas Crouch was a mechanical engineer with experience in design and CAM.  

“Families are happy that manufacturing classes are being presented to their student,” Nicholas said. “Families want hands-on classes and opportunities to learn with manufacturing equipment.”  

Along with learning manufacturing skills like riveting and precision measurement, students in Nicholas’s class also learn universal skills like communication and mentorship. 

“Students mentoring other students helps them express and demonstrate what they learn,” Nicholas said. “Building communications skills will help students grow their career and have the potential to be a supervisor.” 

Now in its third year, VPS is working to reach and teach more students manufacturing skills that give them an advantage after graduation. VPS is developing a regional advisory committee in southwest Washington to bring together advanced manufacturing programs and partners to help foster even more opportunities for students.  

“I love making connections and bringing these opportunities to schools and getting teachers fired up about it,” Mark said. “Connections with industry help teachers get constant feedback to make sure what they’re teaching is relevant. We want students to be ready for their next step.”