The plant wants to let students know they don’t need to leave the area to get a good job.
“We hear so often that the kids in Springfield just want to get out and go other places,” Seery said. “We want them to know that Springfield is viable and the community needs them to stay here.”
And she wants students to be motivated to avoid drugs.
FIND OUT: Dole hiring sign of manufacturing growth in Clark County
“They’re getting into it at such a young age … they can’t do that and be able to go into a job,” Seery said.
A group of students from Springfield High School visited the OSMI plant on Friday as well as the Yamada plant. In Champaign County, about 140 students from Triad High School and other county schools visited multiple manufacturing companies.
It was an eye-opening experience for Springfield High student Diane Meslam.
“I thought that Springfield didn’t have many job opportunities but I found out that they do,” she said.
Other students, like Springfield senior Tyler Carter, said he appreciates having a better understanding of the workplace.
“I really got to see what it’s like to work in a hands-on job and industry like that,” he said.
MORE: Clark County manufacturers work to fill jobs, attract student
Marcia Bailey, with the Champaign County Economic Partnership, said having high school students explore manufacturing before they graduate shows them what type of careers available in the area.
“We have so many job opportunities in manufacturing here in Champaign County,” Bailey said. “It’s a career choice, not just a job. We want the kids in Champaign County to know what type of skills they need to get these jobs.”
Urbana High School Senior Jessica Beveroy said she’s interested in accounting and wants to find every opportunity that might be available to her. She’s open to working for a manufacturer.
“I enjoyed it a lot,” Beveroy said of the event. “I can see a lot of opportunities.”
EXTRA: Silfex buys Springfield property for $11M, adding 400 jobs
Graham Local students also explored the manufacturing industry on Friday. It’s important for students to start thinking about potential careers as soon as possible, Graham Middle School Assistant Principal Nick Guidera said.
“Here at the middle school, we were able to bring in 12 business partners and explain everything to opportunities that range from prosthetic design, 3D printing, welding, there were plenty of different opportunities,” he said.
READ: Clark State plans 4-year manufacturing degree to meet job needs
Even the younger students, like Graham eighth grader James Pelfrey were interested in learning about manufacturing.
“I found it pretty interesting,” he said. “I like it because you get to create something out of pretty much nothing.”
The Springfield News-Sun digs into important stories about jobs and the economy in Clark and Champaign counties, including recent stories on local unemployment rates and how driverless cars might impact Navistar.
By the numbers
11.4M: Workers in manufacturing nationwide
4th: Largest industry in the U.S.
$56,000: Average annual pay for manufacturing employees
$639B: Payroll for the entire manufacturing sector nationwide
Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Springfield manufacturers wante to attract local students