Our thanks to everyone who attended and participated in the May Facility Managers Meeting. In lieu of a traditional presenter for this month’s meeting, a roundtable discussion took place among attendees to encourage discussion surrounding plans for Manufacturing Month.
Set for October, Manufacturing Month is a statewide initiative to recognize Kentucky’s manufacturing sector, which employs nearly 250,000 citizens across 5,000 operations. To mark the occasion, the Elizabethtown-Hardin County Industrial Foundation is seeking to facilitate partnerships between local manufacturers and local schools to educate students on opportunities within the regional manufacturing sector.
The purpose of these partnerships will be to connect students with potential employers and create relationships for students prior to graduation. Opportunities through these partnerships include facility field trips, along with interactive activities for students. Officials and teachers from Hardin County Schools and Elizabethtown Independent Schools were in attendance at the meeting to discuss the needs of local school systems, including Hardin County Schools Superintendent Teresa Morgan and Elizabethtown Independent Schools Assistant Superintendent Chase Goff.
To make these partnerships a reality, EHCIF is working with several regional education officials, including Lisa Slaven, Hardin County Schools Transition Facilitator; Laura Berger, Workforce Readiness Coordinator for the Elizabethtown Independent School District; Lori Collard, Coordinator of Technical Education and Career Development for the Meade County College and Career Center; Megan Stith, Chief Institutional Advancement Officer for Elizabethtown Community and Technical College and Patrick Grey, a manufacturing recruiting specialist for ECTC.
Slaven said the chief goal of the partnership is to provide in-school engagement for middle school students through interactive activities and school visits from local manufacturing representatives, along with field trips to local manufacturing facilities for high school students.
“We have a major focus on educating our youth on careers here in Hardin County so that we do not only prepare them for these careers, but also hopefully keep them here in Hardin County,” she said.
Grey and Collard demonstrated some interactive ways for middle school students to engage with and understand manufacturing, including a “Cookie Manufacturing Activity” designed to help students understand concepts such as design, production and quality control. In addition, Collard offered attendees tips and tricks for high school manufacturing facility tours, including tips on the logistics of planning a trip, what to include in presentations, what to consider during tours and more.
“We would love for you to use Manufacturing Month as a recruiting tool because these students that are coming through are your potential future employees,” Collard said.
Manufacturers interested in partnering with local schools for Manufacturing Month are encouraged to contact Andy Games at firstname.lastname@example.org or 270-737-0030.
Following a two-month hiatus, Facility Manager Meetings will resume in August. For more information, or if interested in attending the next facility managers meeting, please contact the Elizabethtown-Hardin County Industrial Foundation at 270-737-0300.