Local Manufacturers Meet with Students on Manufacturing Day
The first Friday in October is recognized as National Manufacturing Day each year. This year, the City of Fayetteville and Cumberland County both issued proclamations declaring Oct. 7 as Manufacturing Day locally.
Cumberland County Schools encouraged local manufacturers to meet with high school students to inspire the next generation of professionals in the critically important manufacturing sector. These manufacturer tours present a unique opportunity for the students to learn more about the large employers in our community and to see the production in action.
On Thursday, October 6, Blue Ridge Power hosted students from Alger B. Wilkins High School. Lee Spruill, Workforce Development Programs manager emphasized the fact that career success does not always require a four-year college degree. He pointed to the recently announced PowerUp apprentice program through which Blue Ridge partners with Fayetteville Technical Community College and Cumberland County Schools. Apprenticeship graduates start out at $17.75 an hour. “If you have the right attitude, and the want-to, you’ll learn that it’s not just a job, it’s a career,” Spruill said. “It’s all how you look at things.”
Blue Ridge Power is a full-service EPC company for renewable energy projects across the United States. The company brings integrated engineering, a qualified professional labor force, and an expansive fleet of equipment to serve the needs of clients looking for a turnkey solution for solar and solar + storage projects.
In addition to Blue Ridge Power, Kuraray and Dupont hosted high school students on Friday, October 7. Students from Gray’s Creek High School toured Kuraray, a global leader in specialty chemical, fiber, and resin production. Pine Forest High School students visited chemical manufacturer DuPont, which will host students again on October 14.
Organizations that contribute their time and resources to engaging with Cumberland County Schools are greatly impacting outcomes for student success in future careers. According to Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute, 4 million manufacturing jobs will be needed over the next decade, and 2.1 million are expected to go unfilled if we do not inspire more people to pursue modern manufacturing careers. Our community is doing its part to attract the next-generation workforce and will continue to support high school students in their pursuit of new, exciting careers in the manufacturing sector and beyond.