INDIANA (21Alive) -- Twelve students from Wells and Adams County built guitars this summer while at the same time learning about industrial opportunities and needed workforce skills.
Wells County Economic Development developed a summer camp program where junior-high aged students design and build their own full-scale and fully functional electric guitars in the Southern Wells High School guitar building workshop, learning about such industry-standards as CNC (Computer Numerical Controlled) machining, project development, product scheduling, and quality control.
Each student designed the bodies of their instrument and watched as the computer-aided design became a reality on a stock piece of poplar. Then the campers toured several Wells County industries and the South Adams Machine Trades facility to see how CNC machining and product production takes place in actual industrial settings. They toured Buckhorn Manufacturing in Bluffton and Roembke Manufacturing in Ossian.
The 12 campers finished their guitars by sanding, coloring, sealing, and assembling their new instruments.
As a grand finale to the week-long tour, the students traveled to Sweetwater Sound in Fort Wayne Wednesday to show off their new designs and meet with the guitar pro’s at this Fort Wayne landmark. As part of their visit, the students also enjoyed a “jam session” with a Sweetwater professional.
The primary purpose for this camp is to show junior high aged students the career possibilities in manufacturing, especially in careers that include advanced skills not only needing 4-year college training, but also careers that require advanced training and certification. This is the inaugural program which is expected to take place again next year with an expanded format include new locations and new camp options in areas such a robotics, healthcare, and culinary arts.
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