Local high school students discovered a few things they can “make” out of their academic careers this week when College of the Canyons and the Hart High School District, together with the city of Santa Clarita and the SCV Economic Development Corp., hosted their first event centered around National Manufacturing Day.
“The whole goal is to get them exposed because most people don’t know about these great jobs,” said Kristin Houser, dean of Career Technical Education at COC. “They’re wonderful jobs and people don’t know about them.”
National Manufacturing Day was held around the United States Friday, with more than 1,500 events planned, Houser said. The events are being held to make people more aware of what is happening in the manufacturing industry today.
“This is an opportunity for these kids to realize where their careers could take them — in advanced manufacturing and all of the computer programming, robotics and engineering,” Sue Reynolds, career development coordinator for the Hart District. “This is preparation that can take them into really strong careers. Not entry-level careers, really strong careers.”
COC welding and engineering professors and faculty presented different workshops showing the different classes and internships that are offered by the college as well as different opportunities in career fields in the Santa Clarita Valley.
“This is part of all of our Career Technical Education programs in the future,” said Mariane Asad Doyle, career technical education administrator for the Hart District. “Having students go out and have field trips to industry as well as job shadowing at the lower levels and providing internships as they go into their senior year.”
The event began Thursday with a panel, open to the public, of local professionals in the manufacturing industry.
The event continued through Friday where more than 120 students from Saugus High School, Canyon High School, Hart High School, Valencia High School and West Ranch High School were able to tour local manufacturing businesses including Aerospace Dynamics International (ADI) and Boston Scientific among others.
After the tours, the students went to COC to participate in the workshops.
“This has been such an emerging market in the past five, 10 years,” said Saugus High Assistant Principal Diane Hamburger. “So many new careers have been developed because of new technologies and it’s important to expose our students to that — to the new careers that they may not have heard of.”
At the workshops, students were able to see laser welders, plasma cutters, advanced bionics, a Raspberry Pi, a FANUC robot and other tools provided by the college.
Officials from COC, Hart district, Santa Clarita Economic Development Corporation, city of Santa Clarita and the COC Economic Development department came together to put on the event.