Northeast Dubois Engineering/Manufacturing named to statewide group supporting school-based enterprises

Northeast Dubois Jr/Sr High Schools Jeep Engineering and Manufacturing has been recognized as a member of Conexus Student Industries, a statewide network of 15 high schools dedicated to developing advanced manufacturing and logistics talent through School-based Enterprises (SBEs).

School-based Enterprises are student-run and -operated businesses that design, manufacture and commercialize products or services in a school setting. The Conexus Student Industries network connects students, teachers and industry in creative ways to strengthen existing SBE programs and provide tools for new program development and program enhancement.

“Jeep Engineering and Manufacturing, along with Conexus, has helped to integrate a group of students with creative minds, skillful hands and hard work ethic to collaborate on passionate projects for our school corporation and community,” said Audrey Case, program coordinator. “Jeep Engineering and Manufacturing allows students to develop and grow their employability and workforce skills to succeed after high school.”

Jeep Engineering and Manufacturing creates and markets custom products for the community using a tabletop CNC wood router, laser engraver, metal plasma cutter and heat press for school spirit wear.

While Indiana schools have operated SBEs for decades, those operations have taken on new levels of sophistication and purpose in recent years to better prepare students for increasingly high-tech careers in advanced manufacturing and logistics. What commonly has featured small operations, hand-made items and student-to-student sales, operate sophisticated production facilities with clients that include big manufacturers, municipalities and other businesses. Industry partners have facilitated this expansion by contributing equipment, expertise, mentorship, financial support and more to SBEs.

To accelerate this evolution, Conexus Indiana launched the Conexus Student Industries network to provide a strong platform for schools to learn and share best practices and identify and secure funding for long-term growth. The network also involves advanced manufacturing and logistics leaders who share industry needs with teachers and students while investing in a talent pipeline of high school students ready for additional education or careers in the advanced manufacturing and logistics fields.

“Indiana is quickly becoming a leader in the School-based Enterprises realm,” said Kyle Marshall, senior director of K-16 education at Conexus Indiana. “No other state is putting as much energy and expertise into supporting and connecting SBEs and engaging the business sector in their work. This is an effort that will pay dividends well into the future.”

Conexus Students Industries delivers unique programming and services to schools that join the network as Conexus Student Industries Council members, including:    

  • Recurring Student Industries Council meetings. These meetings bring together teachers and students at Indiana Student-based Enterprises to share best practices, interact with industry partners and learn about supplemental resources for effective SBE operations.
  • Conexus Student Industries Case Competition. The case competition is an annual virtual event with the inaugural competition scheduled for April 19, 2023.  Students are challenged to demonstrate their skills in operating a student-run business. The case competition will be judged by a panel of industry leaders with cash awards granted to the top three schools in the competition.
  • Support grants. Annual support grants will be awarded to qualifying student-run businesses and will support wages for summer operations, the purchase of enterprise equipment or raw materials, the creation of marketing materials and more.

Schools interested in learning more about Conexus Student Industries or industry leaders looking to support their local SBE should contact Nikki Jagow at or go to