Students, parents tour local manufacturing facilities

Students and parents recently visited Guardian Glass, Timken Drives, Custom-Pak and LyondellBasell through a program launched in celebration of October's Manufacturing Month. Submitted photo

CLINTON — The Manufacturing Career Discovery Committee wrapped up its plant tour series to include Guardian Glass, Timken Drives, Custom-Pak and LyondellBasell.

Parents and students were provided with information regarding the history of each company, skills/education they look for when hiring, and opportunities for future employment.

The program was launched in celebration of October's Manufacturing Month. The DeWitt Chamber & Development Co., Clinton Regional Development Corp., Clinton Community College, and the Iowa Intermediary Network teamed up to introduce students and their parents to the career opportunities available in their own backyard.

“The committee felt the tours were a new and interesting way to educate area students about career opportunities in manufacturing, trades, and apprenticeships," said Angela Rheingans, executive director of the DeWitt Chamber & Development Co. "Raising awareness of these career paths is an important tactic in building a qualified workforce for our local businesses. These evolving industries are key drivers in our current and future economy, making it imperative that we encourage our youth to consider them as career options."

Rheingans said the tours offered both the students and adult participants a glimpse into not only the types of positions available but also the importance of soft skills and ability to work within a collaborative culture.

"The tours were great experiences for all involved and we are looking forward to repeating them in the future," she said.

“We couldn’t be more pleased with the attendance and interest in the manufacturing tours in Clinton and Whiteside counties," said Iowa Intermediary Network Workforce Coordinator Christine Caves. "The employers were very generous hosts and facilitated personal and engaging tours at their facilities. I was proud to attend and share these experiences with our student and parent participants. As a career counselor, I am very enthusiastic about the future of this career pathway and welcome future opportunities to expose our youth to the skilled and financially secure occupations in manufacturing.”