A dream came true for students and faculty in Watertown High School's STEM program on Tuesday.
The community looked on as School Principal Jeff Luttrell, Wilson County Schools Director Dr. Donna Wright, Career Technical Education Supervisor Bill Moss and Watertown High teacher Matt Hallmark unveiled an industrial robot which will be used to train students in the program.
The robot is one of two Fanuc robots, purchased by the school system for $37,000 each. According to a release, Fanuc robots are used in more manufacturing and industrial facilities than any other brand in the world. By receiving this training, students will not only learn how to program the technology for real world manufacturing, they will be "career-ready" with a Handling Tool and Operations Certificate which will equip them to go right to work, if they choose to do so, upon graduation.
"They can get a job anywhere that has a Fanuc robot," said Moss. "All of this would not be possible without strong leadership."
Wright said that it was a proud moment for Wilson County Schools.
"This is an opportunity we have here that you aren't going to see many other places in the state," she said. "You will have the opportunity to be on the cutting edge and setting the tone as far as robotics on your level. You are going to be job ready. You are going to have a skillset."
Principal Luttrell said the goal of educators is to get students ready for college or the workforce.
"I think it is important that we do not lose focus of that," he said.
Statistics show that 80 percent of all manufacturers report having a shortage of skilled workers. Over the next decade, there will be a shortage of 2 million skilled manufacturing workers worldwide, reports stated.
The second Fanuc robot will be unveiled at Mt. Juliet High School on Nov. 4.
Staff Writer Sabrina Garrett may be contacted at email@example.com.