HSM provided a “behind-the-scenes” look into its Corporate Innovation & Technology Center to approximately 50 teachers and administrators from four school systems in the Hickory, North Carolina area this June, as part of the Catawba County Community College EXTREME STEM Teacher Tour.
The tour is designed for teachers to learn about careers in local industries and see how curriculum relates to various positions in advanced manufacturing companies. The Teacher Tour is an extension of the original EXTREME STEM Tour, where local eighth graders get a behind-the-scenes look at career opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The teachers’ visit to HSM included a showroom tour and overviews of HSM’s Innovation Management process, products and business units, as well as its lab, testing and prototyping capabilities.
“HSM is committed to supporting education in the local community and increasing student/teacher awareness of the STEM career paths in our region, as well as the specific skills and training required to enter those fields,” noted Gregg Greulich, HSM corporate vice president of innovation and technology. “As the manufacturer’s manufacturer, we are proud to help build our future together.”
During the tour of HSM’s Corporate Innovation & Technology Center, teachers received an overview of the product development process and the work the center does with each of the company’s four business units (furniture, bedding, transportation, diversified), relating to product design, development and testing. Throughout the visit, HSM representatives focused on the importance of using science, technology, engineering and math in each of the real-world applications demonstrated. One teacher, who teaches creative drawing and CAD courses at the high school level, said the tour helped give teachers a perspective on real-world applications they can take back into the classroom to share with students.
“By opening their doors to local educators and students, businesses like HSM are playing key roles in developing the next generation of professionals in science, technology, engineering and math,” said Tracy Hall, director of the Education Matters in Catawba Valley and coordinator of the EXTREME STEM Tour. “Through their support, businesses help students experience how classroom learning can be applied to real world careers they may not have been aware of. The tours also help students understand the importance of taking higher levels of math and science course work to prepare for the next levels of training needed for these types of positions.”
About HSM: One of North Carolina’s largest employers, HSM is a privately held company that brings together approximately 2,500 employees in more than 50 manufacturing plants in 17 states and several global distribution points to serve a wide array of diverse customers and markets. Based in Hickory, N.C., the company has expanded its global presence and moved beyond core furniture and bedding markets to embrace new growth opportunities in transportation, healthcare, packaging and government sectors.