(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Area high school students got a peek at their potential future in manufacturing Friday morning. The St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce, local manufacturers, and the St. Joseph School District hosted their third annual Manufacturing Day.
The Chamber and SJSD partnered with nine manufacturing companies in the city. High school students who take classes at Hillyard Technical Center toured the facilities and asked employees questions about their jobs during a “Q and A” panel.
“It's a lot of fun to see them get out there, see something they’re interested in, and then their eyes light up and they start asking questions,” said John Ferh, a Manager of the Software Development Team at Altec.
Manufacturing Day helps students see where they may be a good fit, and companies are able to showcase their benefits to encourage the next generation of employees.
“I’m a senior this year and now I’m looking at what's going to be better for my future retirement wise, and what will be good for me and my family. I feel like with all of the jobs in trade opening up, there’s a place for everyone to have a good fit,” said North Platte High School student Ean Masoner.
"It's very important for our high school students to learn about the careers available to them in skilled manufacturing in St. Joseph," said R. Patt Lilly, President and CEO of the St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce. "As baby boomers retire, these high-skill, high-pay careers are becoming vacant. For our economy to continue to thrive, the next generation is needed to learn these skills and help keep the industry growing."
Manufacturing Day was also for students who weren’t quite sure if college was the best fit for them.
“There are so many great jobs that don't require you to spend that four years and all that money to get a degree in something that you don’t want to do,” said Fehr.
Around 500 students participated in Manufacturing Day this year.