Pathways to Success

Garden Spot High School


2nd Annual Rational Career Exploration Externship

On a picturesque afternoon, a big tractor, the color of a bright blue August sky, was driving around the test track at Case New Holland Industrial. It quickly moved towards the bump track to test the durability of this huge machine. The operator slowed the speed and then began to drive over that first bump. All too quickly the operator and the passenger were bouncing rapidly and severely around the cab. Feeling frightened, the operator pressed the turtle shaped button to bring big blue down to its slowest speed, followed by an audible sigh of relief when the bouncing settled down.

The operator in that story was me when I, along with over 50 other educators from around the county, had the opportunity to participate in the 2nd Annual Rational Career Exploration Externship. This externship was organized by the Lancaster STEM Alliance and hosted by Case New Holland Industrial and New Holland Agriculture right here in the heart of our own school district. Driving that tractor was just one of the highlights of the externship experience for myself and almost a dozen other educators from ELANCO.

On my first day at CNHi, we visited the engineering departments where we saw the interworkings of what around 300 engineers do on a daily basis at the New Holland campus. In addition to an excellent tour, we were also given in person simulations and hands-on activities that could be applied directly in our classrooms. We learned about stress testing, engineering design, paint testing, virtual simulations, etc. Each department provided us with worksheets and basic tools, along with the math needed to solve complex real-world problems.

On day 2 we moved to the manufacturing building and it was here where I was most surprised. Over the past two years, I’ve visited close to 15 different manufacturing facilities ranging from concrete to food production, so I’ve become pretty accustom to wearing funny hats and bright yellow safety vests. I’ve also become accustomed to dingy, dark lighting and lots of dirt on the manufacturing floor. But when we entered the CNHi manufacturing floor, I was shocked by the bright lighting and colorful manufacturing machines that made for such a warm and welcoming environment. These environmental upgrades are called WCM or World Class Manufacturing. As we moved from department to department, the bight lighting was met with bright employees who passionately talked about their career journeys and the intricacies of their jobs. On this tour, we were also given many opportunities to observe the employees, machines, and robots in action. I even got to run the Brake Press where I made a part that will be put into a real tractor!

On the last day, we visited the Conference & Learning Center where the marketing and finance departments shared with us the importance of their jobs in relation to the customer. They tasked us to create a hay stacker out of Legos. After making our design we then had to come up with a marketing campaign and commercial to present to a large group. Although our Stack Cruis-Her did not win (we were robbed!), we had fun working collaboratively (an important skill discussed throughout all 3 days of the externship).

I want to give a huge THANK YOU to all of the CNHi and Lancaster STEM Alliance employees who spent countless hours preparing for this 3-day externship. Prior to this externship, I was totally unaware of the opportunities available in the Ag manufacturing industry. I had no idea that there are career opportunities available for basically every interest area. If you’re interested in math, engineering, chemistry, or mechanics there is a job for you. If you’re interested in finance, video production, photography, technology, or communications, there is a job for you. I’m especially excited to now take all of this new knowledge back to my classroom and community! It is here where all of those dedicated hours will begin to make a difference in the lives of our future workforce. Thank you again for all of the hard work that you dedicated to giving to Lancaster County Educators!

Looking forward to the 3rd Annual Externship next August at Eurofins!

To learn more about this experience, read the LNP article.

Is this the manufacturing of

A.  A CNHi Round Baler or….

B. A Star Wars Imperial Walker

(I’m leaning towards B).


When you drive a tractor, you take a selfie (especially if Dr. Hollister is in the photo)!




A big thank you to Secretary Rivera and Congressman Smucker for attending the Rational Career Exploration Externship and for showing your support for education and manufacturing careers.


jhackman • August 16, 2018

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  1. Jill Reid August 20, 2018 - 5:25 pm Reply

    Thank you so much for participating. CNHi really enjoyed having all the teachers on campus.

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