On Tuesday, October 6, fourteen RCHS students attended the 2nd annual Manufacturing Day at JJC’s main campus, hosted by JJC and the Tree Rivers Manufacturer’s Association. Hundreds of high school students from Will and Grundy counties attended.
The purpose of the open house was to allow high school students to learn about manufacturing and the career opportunities available to them after graduation from high school. Students were able to talk to engineers and companies to learn about jobs in their own backyard.
In addition, Roy McElroy, former NFL player and Chicago Bear and Indianapolis Colts member, presented the keynote address to students. His focus and message for students was to PLAN and EXPECT success for themselves by working to make things happen while still in school through networking and exploring job opportunities. He encouraged students to have confidence in themselves and to follow through on their dreams with an action plan.
Students were able to simulate real world technology through the virtual welding presentation as well as operate a crane. Trade organizations were also present to share the process for employment. The local builders and contractors association was on hand, too, to share information about the need for skilled and trained workers for the shortage that is occurring in the carpentry trades.
Other companies at the event included Dow Chemical Company, Exelon Generation, Nanophase Technologies, LyondellBassell, AksoNobel, Aux Sable Liquid Products, Caterpillar and CITGO Petroleum. Companies emphasized what their business manufactures and the training and education needed. In many cases, students can begin work after high school, attend JJC for training and start making money money without the burden of student loan debt and take their skills anywhere in the nation.
Attending from RCHS included Holly Belcher, Eddie Cathelyn, Jake Costenaro, Katie Costenaro, Nick Ferro, Shyenne LaGrange, Jack Leitch, Devyn Luckey, Jake Madding, Sky Meisner, Bethany Morris, Ray Page, Isabella Sharper and Frankie Torres. Dr. Christine Nelson, assistant superintendent of learning and instruction, and Melinda Hogan, Career and Technology teacher at RCHS chaperoned the students.
This article was written by RCHS teacher, Melinda Hogan and sent to the Braidwood Journal.