Spring 2018 Manufacture Your Career Events

This spring the Southwest Virginia Alliance for Manufacturing organized three Manufacture Your Career events.  These events focused around a panel discussion highlighting the manufacturing sector and the career paths it offers. Panelists discussed multiple topics including pay and benefits, facility safety, common misconceptions, employer desired soft skills, and different job opportunities. Students took the opportunity to ask the panel members interesting and insightful questions about manufacturing. Students networked with the panelists at the end of the event, discussing job opportunities, internships and asking further questions. The events were a terrific opportunity for local manufacturers to interact with possible future employees. Students in attendance of the events represented a variety of college majors.

The first event took place at Emory and Henry College on April 3rd. Director of Career Services, Amanda Gardner and student, Chris Thompson promoted and hosted the event. The panelists included: Jim Coe, Engineering Manager at Somic America; Te-Kai Shu, Social Media and Business Development Manager at Strongwell; Kevin Mumpower, Vice Presidents of Product Engineering at Bristol Compressors International, LLC; and Eric Miller, President and Owner of Wolf Hills Fabricators, LLC.

The second event took place at Mountain Empire Community College on April 11th. Beth Boggs, Career & Transfer Counselor, promoted the event and recruited students to attend.  The panelists for this event included:  Chuck Ventimiglia, Manufacturing Engineering and Purchasing Manager at The PBE Group; Dedra Helbert, General Manager of Human Resources & General Affairs at Tadano Mantis Corporation; Tony Smallwood, Global Product Engineering Manager at Tempur-Sealy; and Greg Farmer, Site Leader at Komatsu.

The third panel discussion was held at Virginia Highlands Community College on April 19th.  Mark Wildman, Career Specialist, promoted the event. The panelists for this event included: Bobby Angles, Continuous Improvement and Facilities Manager at Somic America; Kevin Mumpower, Vice President of Product Engineering for Bristol Compressors International, LLC; Liam Robison, Product Control Intern at Strongwell; and Te-Kai Shu, Social Media and Business Development Manager at Strongwell.

SVAM would like to thank the volunteer panelists, and Chris Thompson, Amanda Gardner, Emory and Henry College, Beth Boggs, Mountain Empire Community College, Mark Wildman, and Virginia Highlands Community College for hosting the events.

We will be organizing similar events throughout the region for the fall of 2018. If you are interested in hosting an event please email [email protected].