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Statewide campaign aims to educate students about manufacturing industry

Release from “Explore the New Manufacturing:

Campaign representatives visit 125 Preston County students

KINGWOOD, W.Va.  – Representatives from a statewide manufacturing education campaign, “Explore the New Manufacturing,” spoke to nearly 125 students about the industry during a two-day tour in Preston County, W.Va., last week.

Students, ages 4 – 14, in the county’s “Afterschool Explorers” Program from South Preston, West Preston, Fellowsville Elementary and Kingwood Elementary schools learned about manufacturing, key companies headquartered in West Virginia, career options, educational pathways and skills important to the industry.

The West Virginia Manufacturers Association Educational Fund (WVMAEF), a program of the West Virginia Manufacturers Association (WVMA), launched the campaign in 2015 to create awareness about the state’s thriving industry – made up of more than 1,100 companies and 55,000 employees – and spark student interest in the field.

“It’s important for students to learn about the industry and how it impacts West Virginia’s economy,” said Rebecca McPhail, WVMA president. “There are several educational options for high school graduates who want to pursue careers in manufacturing. Some students won’t attend a four-year college or university, and they don’t have to in order to get a great-paying job right here at home. We want to be sure they are aware of these opportunities at an earlier age so that, if they’re interested, they can best prepare in high school.”

To give them a better idea of the skills and training they would learn in a simulated workplace classroom or a community and technical center, tours also are coordinated for students to visit these facilities, McPhail said.

“Explore the New Manufacturing” campaign representatives have presented to more than 3,000 students and 500 teachers, principals and administrators throughout West Virginia since the campaign’s inception. They also participate in career fairs, and industry-related and STEM-focused activities and events.

To learn more about the WVMAEF and “Explore the New Manufacturing,” visit Contact Lake Morehouse at 877-342-0161 to schedule a presentation at a school or upcoming event.


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