Posted 10/23/17

Cleveland Associated Industries’ Manufacturing Week was full of opportunities for students to learn what goes into making common products. Between Oct. 16 and 20, high school career and …

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Cleveland Associated Industries’ Manufacturing Week was full of opportunities for students to learn what goes into making common products. 

Between Oct. 16 and 20, high school career and technical education students met industry leaders, completed projects related to their studies and toured local manufacturing facilities. 

This was the first time CAI had hosted Manufacturing Week, having simply participated in National Manufacturing Day in previous years. Lisa Pickel, executive director of CAI, said the goal was to teach students about the career opportunities available to them. 

"We hope students will realize that what they are learning in school can be applied to fun activities — and great careers," said Pickel. 

The 10 partnering companies were paired with 10 CTE classes at  Bradley Central High, Cleveland High and Walker Valley High for the week. These partners were Bayer, Cormetech, Eaton Electrical, Hardwick Clothes, Lonza, Mueller Co., Olin Chlor Alkali, Southeastern Container, Wacker Polysilicon and Whirlpool.

Each class received a visit from a company representative who spoke about his or her work, and introduced the students to a project. Classes had the option to complete projects which allowed them to practice their skills and make items for the companies. 

Their week ended with tours at the companies' facilities. During their visits, the students had the opportunity to present their research and final projects. 

Company representatives said they enjoyed getting the chance to share information with the students, including details on career opportunities and what all is made in Cleveland. 

"It [was] a tremendous opportunity to give the students the chance to see what Cleveland has to offer," said Eric Schober, general manager of Southeastern Container. "People might drive by facilities like this all the time but have no idea what is made inside. Everything from our plastic bottles to M&Ms are made here." 

For the first time, CAI also included middle school students in its manufacturing awareness activities. 

The organization had engineering students in Tennessee Tech University's Makers on the Move program visit Cleveland Middle, Ocoee Middle and Lake Forest Middle schools during the week. The local students participated in an activity in which they learned about wind power and how wind turbines work. 


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