By Joey McWilliams
BRYAN COUNTY – The Kiamichi Technology Center hosted Manufacturing Day on Wednesday for freshman throughout the county.
Students from Achille, Calera, Colbert and Rock Creek were in attendance. They had the opportunity to learn about career fields and what it takes to get certain jobs, and got to visit with representatives from employers from Bryan County and beyond.
Bryan Hallmark, Industrial Coordinator at KTC, said the event is about making connections.
“Manufacturing Day is national event,” Hallmark said. “It is geared toward getting young people involved in meeting with the people in manufacturing so they can see what types of local manufacturing jobs are in their area, what types of skills it takes to go into that.
“Some don’t know they’re here. And some may think, ‘OK, so they make rebar.’ They don’t realize the reading comprehension skills, the math skills that go into it.”
Manufacturing Day is designed to work for high schoolers of all grades, and KTC has tailored the idea to specifically reach out to freshman.
Local businesses and organizations, including CMC Steel Oklahoma, Wastequip and FCCLA, had booths set up to greet the students.
Collin Maynard, a freshman from Calera, said he is interested in being a veterinarian, but was looking around at the things he could learn.
“I’m just trying to see how my career is going to go,” Maynard said.
More than 267,000 students participated in the last academic year’s Manufacturing Day. In a survey the students took following the event, 89 percent said they were now more aware of the manufacturing jobs in their community and 84 percent said they were more convinced that manufacturing provides careers that are interesting and rewarding.
Hallmark said that was a big part of what this day was about.
“We want to get those two groups together so they (the freshmen) can watch some videos and talk and get a good understanding of what they may want to do in the future and work toward so they know what they need to do going back to their high school – whether that be doing a career tech program to add those skills or to go to college or whether it be going to work right after high school. That’s our goal.”
KTC-Durant serves adult students as well as secondary students from local high schools: Achille, Bennington, Caddo, Calera, Colbert, Coleman, Durant, Rock Creek, Silo and Victory Life.