NHS's Tiger Manufacturing steps up its game
Thanks to generous donors in the community, students in Newberg High School's Tiger Manufacturing shop will be using state-of-the-art machines next year.
Students received a brand new, $45,000 Haas VF-2 CNC milling machine, along with a CNC lathe donated by advisor Alvin Elbert of A.R.E. Manufacturing. Elbert volunteers his time to oversee the student-run shop, which opened in 2018 as an opportunity for career and technical education (CTE) at NHS.
Students manufacture and sell parts out of the shop, operating as a small business of sorts.
The new machines will double their production and put them on par with professionals throughout the industry.
"(The mill) is a production machine," Elbert explained. "It's a machine like I would be using here at my shop. What they currently have is a smaller, 'mini mill,' which isn't really set up for production and is kind of run down.
"The biggest thing about it is how the community liked the idea and came together to make it happen," Elbert said. "We had money from six different sources who all saw the value of it."
Newberg students received $15,000 from the Austin Family Foundation, $15,000 from the Ford Family Foundation, $10,000 from local Rotary organizations, $5,000 from a machine shop in Hillsboro and an extra $5,000 from Elbert himself to "finish some things up."
A.R.E. Manufacturing donated the CNC lathe, which replaces an older model the students had been using in the shop.
Macy Showalter, CEO of Tiger Manufacturing, is closing out her junior year at the high school. She said the new machines are "super important" for future students to gain valuable professional experience.
"We're just so glad we were able to get them through our donors," Showalter said. "We're always happy to have more students we can teach, too, and these machines will do a lot for that."
The lathe is up and running in the shop at NHS, but the mill will take some work and installation by Haas over the summer. Elbert said he and the students plan to work over the summer as well to have everything ready for the fall.
Elbert said Tiger Manufacturing – which began with just four members – will grow even larger next year. As one of the most hands-on CTE experiences the school offers, the shop is growing in popularity.
"This year we had 12 and next year we're going to expand it to 18 kids," Elbert said. "They've made a profit on the parts they produce as well, which is tremendous for a student-run business. I'm proud of what they've achieved so far."
Showalter will be among four students in Tiger Manufacturing's leadership next year. She said she can't wait to use both of the brand new machines and provide guidance to new students in the shop.
"I'm really excited and glad that more people are joining," she said. "Way back when, we didn't have stuff like this and I think it gives you great experience for going into this field.
"When I'm older, I want to go into some sort of engineering, so I think it just helps build those building blocks."
To learn more about Tiger Manufacturing and the work they do, visit www.aremanufacturing.com/tiger-manufacturing.