Inside a Thor Motor Coach plant, Shannon Cooper, job training instructor for The Crossing alternative school, gestured to teenagers assembling RV cupholders and running cables.

“These kids are learning how to work hard. My job is to teach them so I can walk away and give them their own leadership,” he said over the echo of whirring drills.

According to a Goshen News report, Cooper explained that because of the unique workplace/education partnership between the school and Thor, he thinks his students will graduate ahead of any other traditional high school student.

The Crossing, founded by former Concord High School Principal Rob Staley in 2003, is a secondary school focused on “empowering struggling students to become contributing members of their communities,” according to its website. The school has 28 campuses scattered across Indiana. In the last four years, the school has awarded more than 550 high school diplomas.

Students attend The Crossing all day, much like a traditional high school. Unlike other schools, students spend half the day on academics, half the day honing job skills. At the Thor location, where a two-story mini high school has literally been built inside the Wakarusa plant, students’ job training involves building real RV products with a Thor mentor.
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