Sibley Center A Project Resource Center

South Bend, Indiana


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Sibley Center A Project Resource Center


1% funded

Campaign beneficiary:

Sibley Center

Created By:

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William Voll


Category: Community

Start Date: May 16, 2016


There is a gap reported between the skill level of potential employees and the skills required by employers in almost every sector of our economy. This gap is expected to widen
as more and more baby boomers retire.
Locally, the manufacturing, construction and medical sectors are all having problems locating skilled employees.

The missing skills include, among others, problem solving, critical thinking, math and measuring. In addition, many students do not see any relevance to real life with what they
are learning in the classrooms.

To solve these problems, school systems are now feverishly returning to career development pathways and “Shop Class”, known today as “Project Based Learning” (PBL).

The same can be said for many adult education programs: dependent on classroom lectures and minimal hands on experience.

Over the last 30 years the variety of jobs available and skills required have expanded to the point that no school district could possibly have enough equipment, space or instructors to create enough career pathways to satisfy the variety of demand. With the rapid changes occurring in technology it is nearly impossible for instructors to remain current.

The Plan

“If a child can’t learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn”

Create a Project Based Resource Center.

Sibley Center will be an education lab available to all to promote a variety of hands on learning.  Have an idea?  Let’s make it!  A place to learn without knowing you are learning. An older student may be practicing on specialized equipment in order to earn an industry recognized certification towards a career in advanced manufacturing; or a middle school student could be learning measurements in a class for “kitchen math” while baking a double batch of chocolate chip cookies.

Sibley Center will be a place where industry mentors can meet with
students to show the relevance of real life applications.

Sibley Center will be a liaison between employers and schools helping expand tours of plants, arranging job shadowing, internships, industry speakers for the classroom and promoting businesses through already existing organizations like Junior Achievement.

Sibley Center will have an area set aside for an industrial hacker
space. A place where a person can take a piece of equipment apart just to see how all of the different systems work together.

Sibley Center will be a place where new technology can be learned by anyone and introduced to everyone

The Place

Sibley Machine is centrally located in a 40,000 square foot building. Since the building was previously used as a machine shop utilizing very large machines, the electrical capacity exceeds anything that would be installed for training.

But we need your help. The shell of the building needs to be secured:

  1. The fire suppression system needs to be updated

  2. The floors need to cleaned and polished

  3. Insulation needs to be added

  4. The roof requires some repair

Once the building is secured the students/users will design and build the interior portion of the building under the guidance of teachers and business mentors.

Our goal is to raise $850,000 to repair the building, purchase material for interior remodeling and acquire initial training equipment.

Please make your Contribution to:

                      The Sibley Center Partnership

To show our gratitude, any donation over $50 will receive a Stanley/Black and Decker* tape measure; 30% of any donation over $100 will be committed to scholarships in the donor’s name.

These scholarships can go towards memberships or programs offered by the center.


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