Recent Press

Press Releases, News & Updates from Explore and all of our education efforts.

Explore the New Manufacturing Announces the Winner for the Northern Region Manufacturing Innovation Challenge

Explore the New Manufacturing is pleased to announce the  Nothern Region Manufacturing Innovation Challenge Award was presented to Wheeling Park High School for their project with East Coast Metal Systems. The company challenged the students to develop a cost-efficient method of recycling 16-foot wooden pallets which are used to ship metal sheets.

“We could tell a lot of thought and research went into the solution they ended up with,” stated Kyle Sowinski, Senior Project Manager for East Coast Metal Systems. “The team described the process as starting with many different solutions but then filtered it down to one that they believed would work best for our specific situation.“

Next up for the team is the state competition, where they will represent the Northern Region to see who will be named the Manufacturing Innovation Challenge 2024 State Champion. Wheeling Park High School will be competing against four other regional champions. The winner will be announced on May 28th as part of Explore the New Manufacturing's Virtual State Awards Ceremony.

Wheeling Park team members: Haley Doyle, Daelyn Crumm, Rae'Lynn Jones, Jenna Medlen, Kieran Moses, and Houston Schreiber 

Education leader: Aaron Fedorke

East Coast Metal Systems support team: Jenna Cooper, John Trifonoff, and Kyle Sowinski

“Today’s high school students will be tomorrow’s manufacturing workforce in West Virginia, said Executive Director Monica Cross, who oversees the Explore the New Manufacturing Program’s efforts to create student awareness and excitement about careers in manufacturing and the training opportunities for these positions in their local areas. “We are excited to have Wheeling Park High School and East Coast Metal Systems team up for this year’s challenge. The real-world experience provides insight into a modern manufacturing environment that uses skills in technology, problem-solving, creativity, and communication that they have been developing in school.” 

Explore's Manufacturing Innovation Challenge is designed to allow high school student teams to solve real-world manufacturing problems faced by West Virginia manufacturers. Each challenge is unique and can come from various aspects of the company's operations.  Students learn how problem-solving skills are a critical element to job performance.  The challenge concludes with a formal team presentation, after which students and manufacturers discuss the feasibility of implementing the solution. The experience illustrates how teamwork, adaptability, and communication skills are used to implement the industry's solutions.

Program Sponsors

Major financial underwriting is provided by

Upcoming Dates

28 May
STATE AWARDS Virtual Ceremony
Date 05.28.2024
5 Jun
Educator Roundtable
06.05.2024
23 Jul
WVMA-EF Board Dinner
07.23.2024 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
24 Jul
WVMA-EF Board Retreat
07.24.2024 7:30 am - 8:30 am

Updates from Explore

Contact us and get involved!

Interested in getting involved with the Explore the New Manufacturing Program?

We are looking for manufacturers, schools, teachers, and community members to
help us expand our efforts throughout West Virginia.

Help us by answering a few questions.