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Partnership will help students explore manufacturing careers


The Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network will purchase the former Margaret Ireland School and turn it into a workforce and innovation hub. The center will help introduce CMSD students to manufacturing careers. This is a rendering of the building after renovation.




CMSD has agreed to sell a closed school but will keep a presence in the building and work with the new owner to help students explore manufacturing careers.

The Board of Education voted Tuesday to sell the former Margaret Ireland School at East 63rd St. and Chester Avenue to the Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network, a nonprofit organization that helps Northeast Ohio manufacturers launch and expand their operations.

MAGNET plans to renovate the building in the city’s Midtown corridor for a new headquarters and prototype lab. CMSD will lease back part of the 80,000-square-foot building for career education and training. The facility is expected to be ready in 2022.

CMSD already works closely with MAGNET to introduce students to manufacturing.

Through Early College, Early Career, the first program of its kind, students have earned college credit at Cuyahoga Community College and received on-the-job training and mentoring.

Now the District and MAGNET are developing field experiences, as well as a career tech program in advanced manufacturing. Elementary and high school students who visit MAGNET’S new workforce and innovation hub will experience hands-on simulations of manufacturing and learn about advanced manufacturing tools.

“The partnership with CMSD is growing all the time,” said Ethan Karp, president and chief executive officer of MAGNET. “With this new building, we will have a permanent and physical connection that will continue to grow our collaboration and our collective effort to help Cleveland and the future of Cleveland's youth.”

District CEO Eric Gordon said the plan fits into evolving workforce development efforts that are intended to connect students with high-skill, high-wage and high-demand jobs that don't require traditional two- or four-year degress. The workforce initiative will complement Say Yes scholarships that pay for CMSD graduates' tuition to colleges, universities and Pell-eligible training programs.

“This is another example of the District’s willingness to join public-private partnerships that help students explore and experience career possibilities,” CEO Gordon said. “And it will bring our students in contact with potential employers.”

The agreement calls for MAGNET to pay $790,000, including $200,000 when the property transfers and credit for renovation of the space used by the District. CMSD’s lease will require the District to pay for security and a prorated share of utilities.

CMSD closed Margaret Ireland in 2011 and then leased the building to the Positive Education Program. PEP, which works with students who have severe mental health and behavioral issues, moved out two years ago.

News of the latest collaboration with MAGNET follows announcement of two other District partnerships that can lead students into career fields.

Last week, United Airlines announced it would provide flight training, internships, mentoring and technical training for students at Davis Aerospace & Maritime High School.

And Cleveland State University recently announced creation of a pipeline that could guide CMSD students -- particularly students of color and women -- to jobs in computer science and and information technology. The National Science Foundation awarded CSU $2 million for the program.