McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

State House

October 4, 2013

Manufactured opportunities: Autry Tech hosts Manufacturing Day for high school students

ENID, Okla. — More than 1,000 high school juniors and seniors came to Autry Technology Center Friday to learn about opportunities available with local manufacturers.

Manufacturing Day, put together by Autry in conjunction with a nationwide initiative, was the first-ever such event in Oklahoma. Manufacturing businesses need more technically skilled employees than ever before, and paid an average wage of $77,000 per year, Don Roberts told the students.

Roberts, agriculture business management coordinator for Autry, gave students an overview of local manufacturing businesses.

“The state of Oklahoma in the last 12 months has added 4,900 jobs in the manufacturing area,” Roberts said.

“Manufacturing Day is a great opportunity to showcase how manufacturing has changed since our grandfathers worked in the shops,” said Janet Strate, assistant business and industry services director at Autry. “The day is an engaging way to attract young people and get them excited about pursuing a career in a technology-driven, innovative environment that will also provide a good paying job with local companies.”

AdvancePierre Foods, Parrish Manufacturing Group, Koch Industries, Oxbow, Pelagic Tank, GEFCO, Wako, A.W. Breuggemann and Ditch Witch showcased job opportunities, services provided and products produced.

Melissa Jenlink, marketing director for Autry, said manufacturing is a key component of a modern society, enabling people to build the goods and products they need to eat, live, entertain and protect themselves.

Jenlink said the idea behind the local Manufacturing Day event is to address the skilled labor shortage manufacturing businesses face, and to ensure the ongoing prosperity of the industry.

Autry also hosted Enid High School’s Career Day for freshmen and sophomores. Speakers from local businesses talked about opportunities in the manufacturing industry. Between both efforts, more than 2,000 students experienced Manufacturing Day.

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