Local Options and Opportunities Program (LOOP)
This program is a unique work-based learning opportunity where students attend a modified school day for academic credit through an online learning lab model with teacher support and work in the manufacturing facility the remainder of the day. This experience takes place at the manufacturing site instead of the traditional high school.
Students must apply and interview to be accepted into this program. Students who are accepted to participate are provided safety equipment for the job they are to perform, compensation for the work day, a teacher support coach in the online learning lab, and a work support coach to ensure on the job success.
What is LOOP?
- Work-based learning program
- Half-day in a paid work placement, half-day working on academics
- Current placements in advanced manufacturing, later will add culinary arts
- Focus is on hot careers in the Madison County area
- Open to high school juniors and seniors
Stanley Black & Decker
Why was the LOOP developed?
Local industry has reported the need for employees with good attendance records, the ability to utilize math and literacy skills in a work environment, and the "soft skills" necessary for success in a collaborative atmosphere, such as communication and organization. Numerous positions inside of manufacturing facilities are listed on the HOT CAREERS to 2014 report for the Madison County area: First line Supervisors, Machinist, Quality Inspectors/Tester, Customer Service Representative, Office Clerk, Accounting, and Repair Workers.
Since Madison County is in a prime location for distribution given the ease of access to transportation of goods via interstate, water, air, and rail systems, the need for manufacturing facilities and employees should continue to increase over time. The LOOP is one way that JMCSS is responding to this need and preparing students for the local job market.
What makes the LOOP experience different than typical high school?
Students report to the factory every day instead of their home school. The day is divided into 2 shifts for the students: an academic shift and a work-based learning shift. An example of the shift times might be 7 am - 11 am then 11 am - 3:30 pm (with a 30 min. lunch). One shift would be academics and the other shift would be the work-based learning opportunity. Students do not observe the school calendar for scheduled days off since they are working within the manufacturing company's schedule. They may be allowed to pick up extra work shifts and swap with other students if necessary (especially during breaks). For the 2018-2019 school year, students will be identified in the fall of 2018 and begin the program in January 2019. In subsequent years, the recruiting of the students for this program begins in March and the students actually start working the last week of July in a typical cycle.
For the first cohort, the students will spend time in the fall of 2018 touring the facility, attending safety trainings, becoming acquainted with the work process of the industry, meeting with key industry employees, etc. The students will actually visit the manufacturing campus a minimum of twice in the fall of 2018 to be better equipped for success in January 2019 when the full program begins. Students will also have the option to pursue post-secondary coursework while participating in LOOP.