Community wide planning for the Bike Friendly West Bend Bike Rack project began in the 2015-16 school year when representatives from Bike Friendly West Bend, and Moraine Park Technical College came together to create a partnership with a mission of service learning for student success and creating a more bike friendly culture for citizens of Washington County.
As of this May, 2019 Since that time 33 bike racks have been designed and built in partnership with Mercury Marine steel donations, Moraine Park Mechanical Design student designs, Moraine Park Welding and Fabrication student builders, Hartford Finishing painters, and Bike Friendly West Bend volunteers marketing, selling and distributing the bike racks to area businesses. In the final step of the partnership for each bike rack, $200 from the sale of the rack is donated back to the Moraine Park Foundation “FACT” scholarship program for manufacturing degree students. The FACT Initiative provides area manufacturers with direct access to manufacturing program students, expedites the time from degree to workforce, strengthens the appeal of manufacturing-related careers, grows enrollment in manufacturing-related programs and unites manufacturers, educators, and students. To date the Bike Rack Project has donated $4,200 back to the FACT scholarship!
So far, 34 students have gained valuable real life experience from this service learning project. This school year students spent 141 service hours to manufacture 12 more bike racks!
Andrew Schumacher of Bike Friendly West Bend said: “The partnership between Moraine Park Technical College, Bike Friendly West Bend and Mercury Marine is a microcosm of how a localized economy can work and thrive. Moraine Park’s willingness to design and fabricate custom bike racks resulted in Mercury Marine donating raw materials. Mercury Marine’s donation helps support students who gain real world experience, which benefits companies like Mercury Marine. Those students, work through real world problems, making them more valuable to local businesses. Students who choose to work locally after graduation, have helped enhance a much needed bicycle infrastructure, which they may directly benefit from. The enhancement of the bicycle infrastructure helps Bike Friendly West Bend satisfy its mission, which helps create more vibrant communities, attracting residents and visitors, further supporting the local economy. The synergy created is a model for a sustainable, local economy and education system.”