Ashley Furniture has partnered with the Trempealeau Valley Cooperative to provide cutting-edge equipment and curriculum in the areas of electronics, manufacturing processes, automation and robotics to its four local school districts in Arcadia, Blair-Taylor, Independence and Whitehall. This more than $3 million investment was made by Ashley Furniture to provide students with the opportunity to take over 300 competency-based courses for high school credit in a state-of-the-art, custom-built Mobile Skills Laboratory. Ashley Furniture and the Trempealeau Valley Cooperative, joined by Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch and local officials, celebrated the grand opening of the Mobile Skills Laboratory with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Monday, October 8, at the Whitehall School District where the lab is currently stationed. The four-school consortium will each host the Mobile Skills Laboratory at their school district on a nine-week rotation schedule. The 900-square-foot classroom on wheels features advanced equipment to expose students to industry-standard processes. The features include technical learning systems, highly interactive eLearning, hands-on simulators, and more. Enrolled students will have the opportunity to learn about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) related fields, including electrical, wiring, motor controls, programming, print reading, mechanical fabrication, precision gauging, hydraulics, pneumatics, troubleshooting and computer aided drafting. A large number of these courses will also provide students with transferable credit to area technical colleges and potential universities. In addition to the equipment purchased, Ashley provided an opportunity for eight area educators to experience the facility in Jeffersonville, Indiana. These educators were able to see the capabilities of the training equipment and what the Mobile Skills Laboratory can offer to an area through educating the future and current workforce.
“We believe in the importance of developing long-lasting partnerships with our local schools and investing in the area of education for our youth,”says Founder and Chairman of Ashley Furniture Industries Ron Wanek. “
The Mobile Skills Laboratory will inspire students to learn advanced technologies through an interactive learning environment that can result in rewarding careers in many different industries.”Ashley has developed a number of partnerships with K-12 schools as well as post-secondary schools over the past five years. Combined efforts have included investing in STEM-based learning opportunities, scholarships, providing students with exposure to technical trades and career opportunities, instructor training, and robotics programs.