Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District
February 2019
About Manufacturing Technology Academy
Manufacturing Technology Academy provides a learning environment which motivates and enables students to acquire world-class manufacturing and engineering skills while positioning them to compete and excel in the global market.
MTA is a tuition-free program offered by Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District’s Career-Tech Center for eleventh and twelfth grade students in Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska and Leelanau counties. For information, call
(231) 922-7859.
Attention Future MTA Students - You're Invited
Current high school sophomores are invited to join Manufacturing Technology Academy educators for parent and student information nights to learn about the challenging MTA educational experience and tour the newly-built classrooms and labs. Hear all about the program’s rigorous classes in math, science, English and economics. Also presented will be information on MTA’s technical classes in engineering and project management, robotics and automation, product design, and electrical and pneumatic systems. 

Information night sessions take place in room 413 of the newly-built MTA wing of the Career-Tech Center located at 880 Parsons Road in Traverse City. Please RSVP for a session to Tim Wheatley at (231) 922-7859 or . See MTA application instructions below.
MTA in the News
Check out this news segment from TV 7&4 UpNorthLive about MTA and hear from a current MTA senior and instructor.
Apply to MTA Today!
Manufacturing Technology Academy provides a unique and enriching educational opportunity. Students are admitted based on application. It’s simple to apply... here’s how:

Visit Students may arrange a visit through their school counselor - OR - Attend an information night session
Mail Application Packet by April 12 to Career-Tech Center, Tim Wheatley, 880 Parsons Rd., Traverse City, MI 49686
Application packet should include:
  • MTA application with counselor comments and signature Get the application HERE
  • 9th grade and first semester 10th grade transcripts
  • One-paragraph essay explaining why student would like to attend MTA
  • Two letters of recommendation (only one may be from an educator)
Interview with MTA Manufacturer’s Council
Students will be contacted by MTA to schedule an interview after submitting full application packet 
Notification Students will be notified of their application status by MTA after completion of all applicant interviews
Questions? Contact Tim Wheatley at
(231) 922-7859 or
State-of-the-Art Home of MTA
MTA Classrooms & Lab
Manufacturing Technology Academy moved to its new facility in time to kick off the 2018-2019 school year. Now located on the TBAISD Career-Tech Center campus with the other CTC programs, MTA’s new digs are state-of-the-art and equipped to serve students and staff with the best technology and educational work space.
MTA Alumnus Spotlight - Brothers David & Jeffrey Dreves
Brothers David and Jeffrey Dreves both graduated from MTA and Buckley Community Schools. Their paths continued in alignment as they both graduated from Michigan State University earning Bachelors of Science degrees.

David majored in crop and soil sciences with a specialization in agribusiness management and now works for Nutrien Ag Solutions as an agronomy sales representative. He hopes to grow in his agriculture career and knowledge, and aspires to continue his family farm.

Jeffrey majored in agribusiness management and minored in agronomy. He too works as an agronomy sales representative with CHS, Inc. and is working toward a Certified Crop Advisory (CCA) certification and continues management training. Jeffrey also looks toward growing the family farm operation.

Current MTA students were treated to a guest visit with the Dreves brothers to hear about their unique experiences in college and career. David told them that MTA helped tremendously in preparing him for college by shaping his study habits and adapting to rigor. Jeffrey also emphasized how MTA students benefit from learning early how to function and communicate in a workplace setting.
Michigan Tech
Relationship Builds

Manufacturing Technology Academy welcomed a visit from Michigan Tech University President Dr. Rick Koubek and Vice President of University Relations and Enrollment Dr. John Lehman. Many MTA grads have attended and thrived at Michigan Tech.

The visit was spearheaded by MTU alum and Promethient, Inc. CEO Bill Myers, who is also a supporter of MTA. Several business, education and entrepreneurial leaders in the Traverse City region participated in the meetings to explore how Michigan Tech can partner with local organizations to benefit students, and promote economic development and education. The collaboration with MTU is seen as a way to bolster opportunities for students and create a pipeline of talent to fuel local business.

Pictured above left to right: Bill Myers, John Lehman, Roberta Wagner, Grace Kolbusz, Casey Smith, Olivia Rockwood, Kim Dunnebacke, Carrie Bartkowiak, Rick Koubek, Debby Oliver, and Tim Wheatley.  
CareerFEST Connects
Students to Careers
Representatives from MTA traveled to Houghton to join in the recent CareerFEST at Michigan Tech University. Several Grand Traverse area companies were in attendance to attract college students for internships and permanent career placement.

MTA and Michigan Tech are committed to preparing students for careers. CareerFEST is a series of industry-sponsored workshops to help students explore opportunities and ask questions of potential employers.

Pictured at left is Roberta Wagner of Star Cutter Company and MTA alum/MTU student Parker Wilson.
Robots on the Move
MTA seniors are hard at work planning for the 2019 robotics season! There are six MTA teams competing in the 2019 National Robotics Challenge (NRC) in the following competitions: WorkCell, Sumo Robot, Rescue Robot, Robot Hockey, and Combat Bot.

Students officially launched their robot concepts during early January design review, where they unveiled strategies and build plans. They will compete at the NRC in Marion, Ohio April 11-13, 2019. Learn more at
MTA students, instructors, GTAMC members and many industry partners enjoyed a great golf outing to benefit MTA!
Hole in One for MTA
The 2018 Grand Traverse Manufacturers’ Golf Outing was a great success despite chilly weather. The Grand Traverse Area Manufacturing Council (GTAMC) organizes the fundraising event in support of MTA's outstanding robotics program. “We are pleased to support MTA,” said GTAMC Chair Matt Schwarze. “MTA fosters the next generation of STEM talent and developing manufacturing leaders for our region.” He continues, “The Grand Traverse Manufacturers’ Golf Outing is one way for us to ensure a strong pipeline of professionals for years to come.”
Alumni Winter Party
December is an exciting time of year because of the holidays, busy school schedules and because MTA graduates come home from college and visit MTA for the annual holiday party and alumni panel. This year's event featured alumni from MTA classes ranging from 1999 to 2018! In an atmosphere of celebration (including a few festive sweaters), the graduates spend time with current MTA students sharing their new experiences and valuable advice. They bring perspectives from near and far including NMC, Michigan Tech, University of Michigan, Grand Valley, Hamilton College, Kettering University, Clemson, Embry Riddle Aeronautical Institute, Michigan State, and Northern Michigan University.
Salute to Math Instructor Steve Drake
MTA's winter party featured special guest and math instructor Steve Drake so students and staff could pay tribute to his extraordinary career in education. For more than 20 years Mr. Drake has taught calculus for NMC dual-enrolled students at MTA. Now, he is moving on to teach exclusively at NMC. His expertise and professionalism will be missed at MTA, but fortunately his instruction carries on and his commitment to the development of MTA continues to pay dividends.

Recipient of the MTA Distinguished Leadership Award and 2018 NMC Faculty Excellence award, Steve began his career at NMC in 1971 and is the longest-tenured member of the current NMC faculty. At the time of the award, one student commented that Steve "... really wants us to succeed - he puts his heart and soul into his work."

Pictured right is Mr. Drake, and below is a group of MTA and NMC students who benefit from his instruction.
Senator Gary Peters Visits MTA
TBAISD Career-Tech Center and Manufacturing Technology Academy were honored to host Senator Gary Peters for a visit to the new MTA classrooms. It was a great chance for Senator Peters to get to know more about students' studies and preparation for college and career.
MTA Interns
A Win-Win for Businesses
Manufacturing Technology Academy welcomes businesses and organizations to get involved with MTA by hosting interns. MTA students are well-equipped to flourish and make real contributions to organizations. The search is underway now for businesses willing to offer summer internship opportunities.

For information, contact Debby Oliver at