Student gets full-time, hands-on experience with DART Manufacturing Center

MASON, MI. (WILX) - In this special edition of Schools Rule, WILX News 10 is talking with students who use the DART Advanced Manufacturing Center on a daily basis. This is a continuation of Schools Rule from June 14.

They say the program has made a huge impact on their lives.

The students at the Wilson Talent Center are incredibly passionate about their programs, an with the DART Advanced Manufacturing Center, they're getting to collaborate with students in other programs.

They say that experience is invaluable.

“This program has helped show me who I am and what I want to do in my future and is starting to prepare me for that world. It’s incredible,” said Hunter Quinn, a student in the Engineering Technology program.

“The experience here is just really good, the teachers really care about you and help you with what you’re working on,” added Grace Galloway, a student in the Engineering Technology program.

Hunter and Grace are both enrolled in the Engineering Technology program. They work with Welding and Machining Technology students in the DART Advanced Manufacturing Center. It brings students from Engineering Technology and Welding and Precision Machining together.

“You can have different people showing you how to do stuff and helping you with how to do this," said Zach Hofstra, a full time DART students. "You guys can make that project happen if you work together.”

Zach is enrolled full time in the Welding and Precision Machining program. He actually finished his traditional high school courses early to make that happen.

“My high school career started out, I wasn’t very good. I wasn’t very good in class and I couldn’t concentrate,” said Hofstra.

Zach says he's found his place while at the Wilson Talent Center. He plans to attend college for welding and he's even been invited to compete in nationwide welding competitions.

“I feel pretty good, I feel like it’s natural. Something that comes easy to me," said Hofstra. "Sometimes when you’re out in the field and need a part made, you can’t always weld it. You have to machine it yourself from scratch.”

He says his time working with his fellow classmates has prepared him for life after graduation.

“If I like my job, I never work a day in my life and that’s what it feels like to come here. Come here and do something I love," said Hofstra.

Zach's teachers say the experience he's getting is invaluable.

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