A recent Manufacturing Day organized by North Kansas City Schools was a good example of an important area effort: acquainting students with often overlooked career opportunities, including high-paying positions in the Northland.
The program Oct. 26 involved students at Antioch and Maple Park middle schools touring local businesses to see jobs firsthand they may never have thought about. The middle school grade level was also a departure from high school events that often include only juniors and seniors.
The results often spoke for themselves. Student reactions to high-tech printing or industrial coatings technology made it clear the students were impressed and had arrived with little idea of the available opportunities. “We are exposing students earlier so they can select their career pathways,” explained Shannon C. Shelton, assistant director of work-based learning for the district. “It’s pretty dramatic.”
The events Oct. 26 included over 500 middle school students who visited 14 worksites. Many of the businesses were manufacturing operations which include a wide range of career opportunities that involve high-paying jobs. Other areas included the North Kansas City Police and iWerx North Kansas City, an entrepreneurial and small business incubator. A similar event will be held next spring for the district’s other middle schools.
“We are looking at doing this next year because it went so well,” Shelton said. “When I see those students come out of those tours excited about what they’ve seen, you can’t put a price tag on that. It really did turn out to be a good day.”
The full list of participating businesses included Exltube & KC Specialty Tube, MAC Glass LLC, Milbank Mfg., North Kansas City Police Department, Sterling Luxury Coaches, Lawn and Garden LLC, Modern Litho KC, iWerx, Stuppy, Inc., The Artemis Institute of MoKan Goodwill, Holland 1916, The Builder’s Association, Walston Door Company and Tnemec.