Seventeen Granville students grade 9 through 12 are seizing a unique opportunity to gain work experience and find their interests during the introduction to working in industry course being taught at Telescope Casual Furniture Inc.
The course began on Feb. 4 with safety orientation and will last until the end of the school year in June, and high school instructor Terry Wheeler said he is thrilled to expose his students to new possibilities outside of college.
“I believe that many of us have just gotten weary of our students graduating and moving away from Granville,” Wheeler said. “They really have no idea what Telescope has to offer as far as skill sets, commensurate pay and work environment are concerned. You really cannot believe the high degree of vertical integration and in-house talent that they have there. It is amazing.”
Wheeler explained the specific work and areas of expertise the students will dive into, with advisement and knowledge provided by current Telescope employees.
“These students will complete a rotation through five different departments, sewing department, metals, powder coat, polymer cutting and finaling,” he said. “They will also complete manufacturing-related projects, Telescope-specific projects, several in-house certifications, several hours of actual work experience as well as other observations and assessments.”
School superintendent Thomas McGurl was excited to talk over the phone on Wednesday about the potential of this project fine-tuning soft and hard skills for students, while also increasing the bond with an industry that has shown great love and adoration for its community.
“It’s a huge benefit to our students,” McGurl said. “The folks at Telescope have been more than generous, more than kind . . . their workers are incredibly pleased.”
Granville Junior/Senior High School principal Lisa Meade said the two-period blocks over the course of half of the school year will provide opportunities that students and families may have never even considered before.
“The idea actually began when I interviewed for the position and researched the district. I had naively hoped we could build something with them for our students to be a part of. After taking a tour of Telescope two times, meeting with Kathy Juckett [owner and CEO] and Kait Warren [marketing manager], and then Mr. Wheeler’s vision combined with Tom [McGurl’s] support, it just came to be,” Meade said. “Kathy and Kait are a big part of the idea coming to life. We can’t thank them enough.”
Down the road, Wheeler, Meade and the Telescope crew will look into the possibility of offering a summer internship program in multiple departments that students are interested in. “We have so many talented young people in the Granville school system. It would be nice to watch them graduate, get their college degrees or training, then come home and find great jobs,” Wheeler said. “This program gives our students an excellent view of the myriad opportunities that are waiting right here.”