Business Partners & Sponsors
The concept of Rocket Manufacturing was presented to the Rock Valley Community School Board in 2008. In 2013, the instructors of Rocket Manufacturing, along with the principal and superintendent, went to Eleva-Strum in Wisconsin, home of Cardinal Manufacturing. In December 2014, Rock Valley was one of the first five programs in Iowa to be recognized by the Iowa Governor's STEM Advisory Council as a STEM BEST (Business Engaging Students and Teachers) model, receiving a $25,000 cost-matched award to help get Rocket Manufacturing started. Rocket Manufacturing classes began in the spring of 2015.
In the spring of 2015, students were exposed to equipment at local businesses. This included tours, job shadows, procedural development, and business presentations in house. A plan was developed to fill out the shop with required machines and tools.
In the summer of 2015, Mr. Vander Velde job shadowed the industry process at Valley Machining for a six week period. He spent three days a week in each of the six departments. He and Mr. Weber also attended the CAPS summer huddle conference in Des Moines. In August of 2015, machines started to be moved into the new facility.
The first full school year of running Rocket Manufacturing was the 2015-2016 school year. In this year we became familiarized with equipment and business process. We received help from local businesses on machine usage and procedures. The students were taught simple tasks/jobs, such as welding. The goals of machines and tools needed to run Rocket Manufacturing was finalized.
The 2016-2017 school year was the second full year of running Rocket Manufacturing. We began to manufacture parts on a small scale with the help of local businesses. The application process for Rocket Manufacturing was completed. NCC's equipment arrived at our facility.
The 2017-2018 school year was the first group of approved applicants. By this time, we only needed minimal help from local businesses, but we still needed help getting part jobs from businesses.
In the 2018-2019 school year, Rocket Manufacturing will be run with minimal to no help from local businesses. We will continue partnerships with local businesses to help encourage students to enter the local workforce. The goal for the 2018-2019 school year is to run Rocket Manufacturing on our own.
"The Rock Valley Community School District is committed to providing all students with educational opportunities to achieve their optimum potential as citizens of a global society."
"Bridging the skills gap by linking business and education while providing students with
real-world manufacturing experiences."