~ Local Industries Prepare Future Workforce by Hosting Middle School Students within Their Facilities to Showcase Opportunities in Advanced Manufacturing ~
October 4, 2019, the Pulaski County Economic Development Authority, in concert with the Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce, will hold its Fifth Annual Manufacturing Day event in partnership with Pulaski County Public Schools. The event is targeted toward middle school students and will feature facility tours of advanced manufacturing operations within many of the county business community’s top industries.
“This is a unique opportunity for our students to personally connect with our business community as members of our future workforce and to peer into the vast array of career opportunities that exist within today’s modern manufacturing operations,” stated Jon Wyatt, Chair of the Pulaski County Economic Development Authority. “Exposing our youth to the numerous technology aspects and skillsets needed to work in our diverse industrial sectors should serve well to focus their educational paths and help connect their interests with the many quality career and technical training courses offered in our public schools system.”
Industrial partners committed to tour and teach over 240 middle school students about advanced manufacturing and the employment opportunities that exist includes: Camrett Logistics, Korona Candles, Metal Processing, Motion Control, Phoenix Packaging, Red Sun Farms, Salem Stone and Volvo Trucks. Students will be divided into groups ranging from 15 to 40 to participate in guided informational tours of the facilities and will see first-hand the production processes and complex operations housed within Pulaski County’s manufacturing plants.
“This is a tremendous team effort between our local government, our schools and the industrial community to enlighten our talented youngsters on the diverse career paths that exist right here in our backyard and this activity serves as an effective way to increase their understanding of what our local manufactures produce and contribute to our economy and to society as a whole,” stated Jonathan D. Sweet, County Administrator. “Manufacturing remains the backbone of the county’s economic growth, with more than 1,400 new jobs and more than $462 million in new capital investment announced in this sector since 2017, it remains critically important to support our existing industries’ current and future employment needs so they can continue to thrive and grow right here for many more years to come.”
Radford University will also take part in hosting 35 students through their Innovative Mobile Personalized Accelerated Competency Training (IMPACT) Lab. The Vinod Chachra IMPACT Lab at Radford University delivers online, self-paced, competency-based education (CBE) in high-demand workforce areas throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia and several neighboring states. The CBE approach focuses on teaching specific job-related skills needed to complete a critical task within the workplace. They use a business-to-business approach to sign strategic partnerships with companies and organizations who nominate the employees they think are best qualified to succeed, and whose role in the respective organization would most benefit from the training. IMPACT is built upon Radford University’s established and award-winning programs. It employs research-based practices from cognitive science, analytics, simulation-based learning and gamification in every aspect of its training to ensure it is challenging, highly effective and engaging.
“Pulaski County is very fortunate to have the businesses and industries that are truly dedicated to cultivating the future workforce and the Chamber is proud to play a part in this successful venture,” stated Peggy White, Executive Director, Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce. “This being our 5th year, it is amazing to look back on the past comments from the students who attended previous Manufacturing Days and reflect on their amazement of what gets made here and to hear comments that demonstrate these students understand what future opportunities await them here in the County.