Manufacture Your Career

During November, the Southwest Virginia Alliance for Manufacturing organized two Manufacture Your Career events.  These events focused around a panel discussion highlighting the manufacturing sector and the career paths it offers. Students were encouraged to ask questions and network with the panelists at the end of the event. Students were also provided with info-graphic sheets that contained fun facts about the manufacturing industry. Both events were a terrific opportunity for manufacturers to interact with the local community. Students in attendance of the events ranged from an entire class of students majoring in business to an entire class of welding students just a few months shy of entering the workforce.  Students received fun door prizes, as well as refreshments.

The first event took place at Virginia Highlands Community College on November 3rd.  Career Advisor, Mark Wildman promoted this as VHCC’s monthly Career Advice and a Slice event. The panelists for this event included: John Thompson, Virginia Cost Accountant at Strongwell; Te-Kai Shu, Social Media and Business Development Manager for Strongwell; Sierra Encar-nacion, Innovation Project Engineer at Universal Fibers; and Tracy Peery, Human Resources Supervisor for General Dynamics.

The second event took place at UVA-Wise on November 9th.  Career Counselor, Neva Bryan promoted the event and recruited students to attend.  The panelists for this event included: Alex Lupi, Director of Operations at Tempur-Sealy; Karen Sorber, Executive Chair and CEO of Micronic Technologies; and Gregory Farmer, Site Manager of Joy Global.

Mr. Wildman Stated, “We have had many events at VHCC that highlight careers, and skill sets that are in demand. I cannot remember any that had the interaction between student and professionals like this event. It was refreshing that the panel talked to the students and not at them. The information that was shared was timely and to the point.”

SVAM would like to thank the volunteer panelists, Strongwell and General Dynamics for providing give-away items, and Virginia Highlands Community College and UVA-Wise for hosting the events.