(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Despite a tough year for students at Hillyard Technical Center, instructors said it’s still important to keep their students engaged and hopeful for the future.
"As long as you have a plan and as long as you have a path you can do very well for yourself there’s lots of resources out there," Chris Gagnon, asst. director Hillyard Technical Center said.
To drive that point home, they teamed up with the St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce to bring back a special guest to town, one who’s positioned himself to be popular in workforce development.
"We wanted to help students realize the many opportunities that are often behind closed doors within their own community." Jeremy Bout, founder Edge Factor said.
Edge Factor an interactive website that uses film making to inspire young manufacturing students, Hillyard instructors and the chamber say Bout’s passion for the craft leaves in an impact.
"Sometimes its just helpful to be reassured that they’re on the right path," Kristie Arthur, director, workforce development St. Joe Chamber of Commerce said. "I think Jeremy does a good job of that."
Bout's inspirational message coming at a crucial moment for students, who’ve had to miss out on so much this year.
Many of the highly social events that play a key role in networking for students have been canceled due to the pandemic, but just because those hands on opportunities are gone for this year doesn't mean opportunity is, according to the chamber.
"We are a manufacturing town we still have a lot of essential jobs available." Arthur said.
Arthur said hundreds of trade jobs in St. Joseph are still available and Bout, who’s gotten to know the city in his brief stops here says it's filled with opportunity.
"We want to take old companies and we want to put new life into them," Bout said. "We wanna take old buildings and we want to restore them and watch them get used."
Bout wants students to understand the building blocks of success so they can become tomorrow’s leaders.
"Work hard, engage, be in the moment and you will find that success," Bout said. "Those are kinds of people that are gonna shine and actually the future will be built off of."
This is Bout's second trip to St. Joseph , he also visited Gray Manufacturing. Instructors are working to schedule a virtual career fair.