Hänel Storage Systems, a leader in the manufacture and integration of automated vertical storage units, contributed a key component of the burgeoning logistics education program at Western Guilford High School in Greensboro, NC. In March 2017, Hänel donated a Rotomat Vertical Carousel to the school, and the curriculum has since realized nearly a 270 percent increase in enrollment.
The Rotomat Vertical Carousel is an automated storage and retrieval system, often used to streamline warehouses and distribution centers, and Western Guilford uses theirs to store school materials and teach students how to manage and pick inventory in a real-life scenario. Students learn how to properly use such a machine, which is rarely seen at the high school level.
Hänel’s equipment donation helped make it possible for Western Guilford to launch the Academy of Transportation, Distribution and Logistics for the 2019-20 school year. This option for advanced Career and Technical Education (CTE) training gives students entering ninth grade some remarkable in-demand job opportunities with local industries.
“The Rotomat has changed my life, my program and my kids’ lives,” said Art Close, Western Guilford Logistics Education Director. “Students learn their way around the Rotomat, and that helps them once they reach the workforce and use these machines on a daily basis. A dozen top companies now want to hire up to 48 of our students right out of high school, at great starting wages with benefits and immediate college tuition reimbursement. This gives them opportunities in life that they ordinarily might not have, and it puts them far ahead of many of their peers. Hänel changed everything for us.”
The Hänel Rotomat is well-known to a variety of industries with warehousing and distribution elements, for advantages such as floor space management and increased inventory accuracy. “The floor space savings alone compared to metal shelving have made a world of difference in allowing our school to expand with more classrooms,” said Close. “We can also keep track of 900 types of items that had previously been stored in 900 different places.”
Western Guilford’s logistics curriculum launched in 2015 with 14 students, and at the time of Hänel’s donation, enrollment had grown to 60 students. With the start of the 2019-20 school year, two years after the acquisition of its Rotomat, 220 students applied to get into the program and two additional instructors had been hired.
Western Guilford has the only such transportation, distribution and logistics academy in North Carolina. The school educates 1,275 students in Grades 9 to 12, and is part of the Guilford County Schools, the third largest district in the state.
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