Student Spotlight: Manufacturing program shapes Elk Grove student's future career

INDICATORS MET: Industry credential, Advanced Placement courses, co-curricular participation

Oscar Gonzalez didn’t know what manufacturing could offer until he took a course at Elk Grove High School.
In just one year, Oscar learned how to work with high-tech tools and complex industrial equipment, such as lathes and mills, and met with manufacturing professionals through numerous industry site visits. He also earned an industry-level safety certification from a national organization verifying his qualifications in the field. 
Oscar credits these classroom and career-specific opportunities – offered through District 214’s robust manufacturing program – with showing him he can combine his advanced math skills and desire to work with his hands. The District program also works with the local manufacturing community to provide students early college credit and internships. 
Students like Oscar can earn up to 24 semester hours of early college credits toward Harper College’s associate of applied science degree in Advanced Manufacturing Technology while in high school.
Oscar, a rising senior who takes Advanced Placement and honors courses, is leaning toward a career in CNC-based manufacturing or tool and die making, and plans to attend college to strengthen his skills. This month, he and his classmates will compete in the national Skills USA competition in the automated manufacturing category.
“I have gained so much knowledge about what the industry looks like. I am always learning something new.”