Education Matters: Local students inspired to seek careers in manufacturing

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Just how much do you know about today’s manufacturing industry? Many of us have outdated attitudes about the industry but several local manufacturing firms are working to inspire the next generation of manufacturers.

Every year Fresno County manufactures open their doors to show valley students how today’s industry works. It’s one way to inspire young people to seek out careers in manufacturing.

This building in southwest Fresno is one of the valley’s top manufactures of custom hydraulic and pneumatic cylinders…they service a number of industries.

“Such industries as large forklifts, amusement park rides, mining equipment off shore drilling equipment,” said general manager Troy Brandt. 

Information passed on to these Fresno Unified high school students as they toured the facility. They learned a lot about what this company does and the job opportunities available. 

“One area of extreme need is CNC Machining, welding, especially welding as it relates to robotics welding engineering and those sorts of fields. I can say we hire 100% of the qualified candidates that come into our door with machine welding and engineering experience.”

This is the purpose of manufacturing day put on every year by the Fresno County Superintendent of Schools. students get an inside look at some of the valley’s top manufacturers. Educators want them to see what career tech education has to offer.

“When they graduate high school they can go out and get a job and take care of their family if they wish, they can go on to an advanced  program where they learn more about a specific industry getting advanced certifications into it or go on to a 4 year degree,” said Brian Emerson. 

For one group of students, seeing how these companies work up close helped them better understand the courses they are taking in school. They attend CTEC, the new Career Technical Education high school that opened this fall. The focus is on commercial construction and manufacturing. 

Jazlyn Espino said when visiting Anlin Window Systems she saw some of the same equipment they have at school.

“When we saw them manufacturing and saw the robots bigger ones than we have in our innovation center and we saw how it’s used and to know that we’re going to be doing that, that we’re going to be able to work those machines. It’s an experience that gets me really pumped up and excited,” stated CTEC student Jazlyn Espino. 

CTEC offers dual enrollment so when these students toured classes at Fresno City College they realized they would be taking some of the same courses while still in high school.

“I just love the fact that this early on I can learn the stages of industry and mechanical engineering and all that and I go into college straight into college and I already know all that,” said student Duncan McKay. 

Brian Emerson teaches at CTEC and he says manufacturing day makes his job easier; his students can actually apply what they are learning to industry.

“They see the tools, equipment they can smell the factory, they can hear the sights and sounds and it becomes real. It become tangible and when we go back to the classroom it’s the greatest things now we say it and there like we believe it, it’s like they’ve actually seen Santa Clause.”
 

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