Program designed to help teachers bring real-world learning into the classroom
VENICE, Fla., June 11, 2009 – School may be out for students across the state of Florida, but not for teachers at Suncoast Polytechnical High School (SPHS) in Sarasota.
PGT Industries, a wholly owned subsidiary of PGT, Inc. (NASDAQ: PGTI), and one of the nation’s largest manufacturers of custom windows and doors, hosted a group of teachers from SPHS this week to help them ensure real-world lessons are integrated into their classroom teaching.
“By spending the day with PGT professionals, the teachers will be able to share with their students what it's like to work in a manufacturing environment,” said Liz Evers, training and development manager for PGT, who organized the visit. “Suncoast Polytechnical offers exceptional programs in architecture and construction, creating a pipeline of possible future employees for PGT and other local manufacturers.
” SPHS, which opened during the 2008-9 school year, is located on the same campus as the Sarasota County Technical Institute (SCTI). According to the school’s principal, Jennifer Putnam, the academic program will be college preparatory and career-focused with an emphasis on business knowledge and 21st Century Workplace skills.
Wanda Calderón, a teacher at SPHS, said she was impressed by how well integrated the different areas of work are and by the level of communication skills that everyone is required to have at PGT.
Another SPHS teacher, Daniel Cole, agreed: ”We ‘talk the talk’ about teamwork here at SPHS teachers observe the robotics used to trim PVB in the PGT glass plant. Suncoast Polytechnical High School and that is what we are teaching. That’s one of our 21st Century Workspace skills. PGT shows us how to ‘walk the walk’. I appreciated the chance to experience that in our job shadow.”
According to Warren Hunter, a manufacturing group leader at PGT, the teachers asked poignant questions: What type of math skills are required to perform at various PGT jobs? What types of software should they be teaching the architectural students?
“These teachers are really going to prepare their students for the future,” said Hunter. “It’s one thing to have book knowledge; it’s another thing to have real world knowledge. If they can bring real life examples into the classroom – that’s superb.”
Both the teachers and PGT professionals expect the partnership to continue, hopefully with student visits to the PGT plant, as well as internship possibilities.
ABOUT PGT: PGT® pioneered the U.S. impact-resistant window and door industry and today is the nation’s leading manufacturer and supplier of residential impact-resistant windows and doors. Founded in 1980, the company employs approximately 1,250 at its manufacturing, glass laminating and tempering plants in Florida and North Carolina. Utilizing the latest designs and technology, PGT products is ideal for new construction and replacement projects serving the residential, commercial, high-rise and institutional markets. PGT’s product line includes PGT® Aluminum and Vinyl Windows and Doors; WinGuard® Impact-Resistant Windows and Doors; PGT® Architectural Systems; and Eze-Breeze® Sliding Panels. PGT Industries is a wholly owned subsidiary of PGT, Inc. (NASDAQ: PGTI). For additional information, or to find a distributor near you, visit pgtindustries.com or call 800-284-6019.