Educators from across Arkansas are receiving an inside look at the cultures, and careers that local manufacturing plants can offer their students. It’s part of Congressman Rick Crawford’s week-long STEM and manufacturing tour.
“For a lot of reasons, there are students that need to be in the workforce almost immediately when they leave high school. And so they don’t have a whole lot of time, or that luxury of time to really study this on their own. So they’re relying on their counselors, and teachers to help guide them,” said Crawford.
Arkansas Glass Container Corporation has openings in engineering, maintenance and more. They also include making glass containers and serving as a quality control specialist. Carolyn McNeely is glad to share those with students.
“I think it’s a challenge to educate them as to what the opportunities are for them. And to realize that it may not be a four-year degree that is their path to success.” “It’s one thing as an educator, that I ask my students now, and that’s not where are you going to college. It is what is your next step. What are you going to do next to make your career possible,” said McNeely.
It’s become more difficult for companies like Arkansas Glass Container to attract younger candidates.
“We found that there is a way to get good people that really want to start their career. And we want them to understand that they don’t have to do it within a college setting. That they can come here to a manufacturing facility, where we can teach them a trade. A trade that pays them as much as a bachelor’s…sometimes even a Master’s,” said Victoria Rampley, President of Arkansas Glass Container.
The underlying goal is letting students know that in the workforce, there’s no need to settle.
Educators also toured Delta Trailers, Shearer’s Snacks, and Southwest Steel in Newport.