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OrthoWorx Presents First DiscoverME Since 2020

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OrthoWorx Indiana Posted by: OrthoWorx Indiana 1 year ago

OrthoWorx announces the return of in-person DiscoverME (Manufacturing Experiences) programming in area schools. During the week of May 1st, 2023, DiscoverME will engage all 8th grade students in the Warsaw, Wawasee & Whitko school corporations with manufacturing plant tours and curriculum built into their classes focusing on career opportunities within advanced manufacturing.

ME programs introduce students to local industry, showcasing career opportunities and educational pathways for these 8th grade students in Kosciusko County and the surrounding area. Manufacturing is a central part of Kosciusko County’s economic landscape serving industries including agribusiness, automotive, marine, home
furnishings and medical devices – specifically orthopedics. DiscoverME excites students about a range of STEM careers and introduces manufacturing at a pivotal time when students are planning high school coursework and begin exploring career interests.

DiscoverME was launched in 2018 with approximately 1,100 8th graders from Kosciusko County participating in this National Manufacturing Week-related program created by OrthoWorx and a team of summer interns. “OrthoWorx and industry partners saw so much success from DiscoverME, that we began planning out other ME
opportunities, like RealME that we launched with all Kosciusko County sophomores in 2019,” said Nichole S. Rouached, Director of Talent at OrthoWorx. “Unfortunately, we had to move to a virtual program once the pandemic broke out, as we couldn’t provide tours of local companies, but this ultimately led to us creating, more lessons to showcase advanced manufacturing and our local industry. To our surprise, students remained highly engaged and our data showed that students still sustained a 70% greater awareness of local industry and
career opportunities following participation in the virtual program.” As Kosciusko County schools and OrthoWorx continued to recover and regroup in 2021-2022, and DiscoverME was paused until this school year, where tours to all corporate partners could be possible again.

Local companies featured as tour stops this year include: DePuy Synthes, Instrumental Machine & Development (IMD), Paragon Medical, Polywood, Precision Medical Technologies (PreMed Tec), Medartis and Zimmer Biomet. The students will also tour Ivy Tech Community College’s Orthopedic and Advanced Manufacturing Training Center (OAMTC) and their high school’s designated career centers. The Warsaw Area Career Center (WACC), Wawasee’s Pathways and the Whitko Career Academy offer a variety of programs to support the demands of our local industry. Students, while still in high-school, can enroll in programs that help prepare them for entry into the workforce or support their next step in higher education, often times with support of their employer, helping eliminate the debt that can accumulate with higher education for students.

“We’re incredibly grateful to our local partners and funders for enabling us to resume these pivotal educational partnerships and even expand on opportunities that excite our youth about the range of manufacturing and STEM careers they can find in their backyards,” Rouached noted. “Resuming DiscoverME and building our OrthoWorx team to include a new full-time Talent Coordinator, Erin Serafino, to support our K-12 initiatives like ME signals just the beginning for how we can support schools, educators, industry, and our future workforce.”

Commenting on DiscoverME and OrthoWorx, Bob Vitoux, OrthoWorx President and CEO stated, “We are thrilled to be back alongside our industry, education and community partners with the re-launch of the DiscoverME program and tremendously excited about what lies ahead for the Orthopedic Capital of the World® as we work together advancing the talent and innovation needed for future success.”

About OrthoWorx

Formed in 2009 with initial funding from the Lilly Endowment through the Orthopedics Capital Foundation, OrthoWorx is focused on Talent Attraction, Talent Development, and Innovation through leading initiatives centered around community-based strategic collaborations with the orthopedic industry and community partners, leveraging the social and economic benefits derived from its mission of “Advancing the ORTHOPEDIC CAPITAL OF THE WORLD® for Generations to Come”.