IRONTON, Ohio (WOWK) — High school sophomores from Kentucky and Ohio attended a manufacturing jobs career expo to learn about the different trades and other career paths.
The push comes as a need for manufacturing jobs in the Tri-State area is increasing.
‘Creating the Tri-State’s Tomorrow, Today,’ was the name of the game at Ohio University on Thursday.
Manufacturing companies spoke with students about the different job opportunities students can have at their plants by taking the right courses while they’re still in high school; and, of course, going to trade school following their high school graduation.
According to the American Manufacturer’s Association, 3.5 million people will leave the workforce over the next decade.
That will leave about 2 million jobs open in the manufacturing industry.
Organizers say they hope to start preparing students to have the proper skills and understand what they’ll need to do in the near future in order to work at these facilities.
“We need the trades as well as we need the engineers and the chemists,” said Curtis Tritapoe, the plant manager at Veolia’s Wurtland Facility. “[You have to] have somebody to build the plants, somebody to work in our facilities, and operate them soundly and safely.”
Some of the students we spoke with say they had never really thought about going to trade school before, but that they’re open to the idea.
“It’s a really good thing because, like, you know how AK [Steel} just went out of business. That’s really my backup plan, just to find a good job and take care of the kids and bills,” said Jacob Heighton, a student at Raceland High School.
Among those present at the exploration expo were Altivia, Sun Coke Energy, Veolia, Marshall University, Ohio University Southern, Shawnee State University, Collins Career Center, Ashland Technical and Community College, and Scioto County Career Technical Center.
The event was organized by the Altivia-SunCoke-Veolia Community Advisory Panel (CAP).