Bradley Tech shines in its inaugural year

Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:27 pm

Bradley Tech shines in its inaugural year

By David Dessart, for SBT

It’s been a year since the new Lynde and Harry Bradley Technology and Trade School has opened and, since that time, the school has made great strides in fulfilling its vision of becoming a flagship program.
As the full-time on-site business liaison and Harley-Davidson Motor Co. representative, I am encouraged by what has taken place thus far and equally excited about what is in store for the future of Bradley Tech.
Higher grade-point averages, increased attendance, higher Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts exam scores, increased post-secondary placement and job placements are just a few of the successes from this past year.
These successes can be attributed to many factors, but the most important is the teaching staff. Despite the difficult transition from the old school and culture to a whole new way of life, the teachers have stepped up to the plate and hit a home run.
The open classroom environment was a challenge for everyone in the beginning, but it has proved to be a major contributor in these successes. Students are in these open classrooms from the first bell to the last, and that openness helps to instill a self-imposed maturity level beyond their years.
I have personally given tours to individuals from all over the world who are impressed by this approach, and the openness of Bradley Tech has given students a sense of pride and ownership in the school and in their own education.
Although the post-secondary partners, the business partners and the industry partners will benefit from all the hard work and dedication put into making Bradley Tech a success, it’s the students who pass through the doors of Bradley Tech each day that are the real winners.
The benefit of having business and industry involved from the beginning was to help the school truly understand the needs of specific industries and related employee development. If we as business partners in education can help students gain knowledge in advanced technology or trade and add this to their portfolio prior to graduation, they will no doubt have countless options available to them.
Just as in 1906, when Boys’ Tech was created to give students other options, so too does Bradley Tech. Students graduating from the Pieper Power School of Construction, the SBC School of Communications or the Rockwell Automation School of Manufacturing and Automation will receive an education that will take them to any post-secondary institute or employment opportunity and have little, if any, problem assimilating into that environment.
As a matter of fact, all three of the above mentioned corporations, as well as Harley-Davidson Motor Co. and Wisconsin Energy Corp. have employed recent Bradley Tech graduates who are currently working as permanent full-time employees and part-time employees through the school-to-work program.
Students gain a well-rounded education as it relates to their specific areas of interest. For instance, a student graduating from the Rockwell Automation School of Manufacturing and Automation will be exposed to energy and power, materials and processes, information technology, design, robotics and machining. From there, the options are endless. Students could choose any number of career paths and, more important, be successful.
At Bradley Tech, students are not permitted to fail. The overarching value of "success is the only option" is not just words, but a way of life that is lived and demonstrated throughout the school.
Starting with the dedicated staff and the competency-based instruction to the on-site representation of both post-secondary and business partners, students have support at every turn.
Here at Bradley Tech, programs provide students with the support they need, whether it’s a self-awareness class, an advanced placement calculus class or apprenticeship testing.
Not only are students required to pass their academic and shop courses, they’re also evaluated on 38 employability skills throughout their study. Students understand it’s more than just gaining the technology or trade skill. It’s the ability to communicate, resolve conflict, work in teams and make decisions that’s essential to gaining and retaining good employment.
Just as the mission says, Bradley Tech will enable students to develop life-long learning skills and to follow well-defined trade and technical career paths, so must the faculty and staff provide every student with the opportunity to do just that, and this is evident throughout the school.
Moreover, this is what business and industry are looking for in good employees. The combination of skills such as those mentioned, coupled with a student’s technology or trade education, generates a larger pool of well-educated, well-trained highly sought employees. It’s a winning solution in every way. It’s a new way of life at Bradley Tech, and the expectations are high. So are the expectations of life.

David Dessart is the on-site business liaison for Harley-Davidson Motor Co. at the Lynde and Harry Bradley Technology and Trade School in Milwaukee.

Nov. 28, 2003 Small Business Times, Milwaukee

Sign up for BizTimes Daily Alerts

Stay up-to-date on the people, companies and issues that impact business in Milwaukee and Southeast Wisconsin

No posts to display