The Economic Development Council Partners with TCC
By Chaninn Ragland
The Economic Development Council (EDC) has partnered with Tallahassee Community College (TCC) for the last three years to celebrate Manufacturing Month. EDC hosted a day of programming with high school students on Oct. 28 with Advanced Manufacturing Training Center (AMTC) at TCC.
Over 250 high school students from the surrounding schools in the area visited the AMTC to learn more about careers in manufacturing. The students received in-depth information about careers in manufacturing from manufacturing companies in the Capital region. The manufacture companies shared their professional experiences and details about their companies with the students and what it’s like to have a career in that field.
“It is important for students to understand there are career opportunities out there for them that don’t require a four year degree,” said Sara Saxner, business retention and expansion coordinator, Economic Development Council of Tallahassee/Leon County. “I think exposing them to potential career opportunities early is an important thing, to kind of challenge the perception of what manufacturing means and help inspire the next generation of manufactures.”
One student felt like the event was very informal and considering the possibility of a manufacturing career.
“I feel like I need (to)explore every opportunity I can,” said Josh Walsh senior at Chiles High School. “I want to open my mind to all possible career paths that (are) available for me.”
The students also had an opportunity to get some hands-on experience with the simulator demonstration of the equipment at AMTC. The simulators demonstrate what it is like when training to operate some of the heavy duty equipment.
“I enjoyed using the machines,” said Marvin Sampson senior at Rickards High School. “I didn’t think I would have been that interested until I got the opportunity to use it.”
The AMTC encourages not only high school students, but any person who wants to have a rewarding career in manufacturing to gain their’s experience with them.
“There’s no type of discrimination on backgrounds here,” said Irvine Leonard, lead instructor, Welding Program at Advanced Manufacturing Training Center. “We welcome all backgrounds as long (as) they meet all the requirements there (is) no reason why anyone can’t come get there certifications.”
The EDC works closely with Tallahassee Community College’s Advanced Manufacturing Training Center on projects and initiatives, and recently was awarded and implemented a three year federal trade grant to support the training and placement of highly educated personnel in the Advanced Manufacturing industry.