Davie County’s 7th-grade students recently got a jump start on career exploration with unique behind-the-scenes tours of several local businesses and manufacturers as part of Manufacturing Day 2022. 

Students from Ellis, North Davie, and South Davie Middle Schools each toured two different locations, including Dex Heavy Duty Parts, Fuller Welding & Fabricators, Gildan, Pro Refrigeration, Rise Indoor Sports, and a Davie Construction project at the old high school. Other students from all three schools spent their tour time experiencing many different facets of Ashley Furniture Industries, Inc. 

Hosted annually, Manufacturing Day is a national event executed at the local level and typically focuses on manufacturing careers. The tours were the collaborative efforts of Davie CONNECT, Davie County Economic Development, Davie County Schools, and the Davie County business community. Organizers were pleased to bring back this exciting opportunity for students after the pandemic halted the fall event in 2020 and 2021.  

“Middle school students are the next generation workforce, and these tours are designed to expose them to career opportunities, show how their current and future curriculum ties to real-world careers, and ignite interest in their future,” said Carolyn McManamy, director of Davie CONNECT. “During the tours, businesses showcased the scope of jobs available at their facilities and discussed the requisite higher education or skills training needed.” 

Davie Construction 

Over 400 students and staff were exposed to the many outstanding career opportunities that exist here in the county. Business leaders provided informative tours, including examples of how their employees use math, science, technology, and communication skills. Students were intrigued by the emphasis on safety, the size of the facilities, the variety of jobs, including the educational requirements for the job, and the machinery used in the day-to-day operation of the businesses.

“As a school district, it is our responsibility to make students aware of all educational and employment opportunities, and this collaborative effort is an excellent means to familiarize our students with the diverse careers available in Davie County,” said Anthony Davis, director of CTE and Federal Programs for Davie County High School. “Manufacturing Day was also a wonderful learning experience for our middle school teachers who saw first-hand the practical application of the skills they teach in the classroom.” 

Business and industry participants appreciated the chance to showcase their facilities as well as the career opportunities they have to offer to this future workforce. 

DEX Heavy Duty Parts

“It’s always a great day when we can educate students about the different trades that are offered in Davie County,” said Jay Kimura, manufacturing manager for Pro Refrigeration. 

McManamy has been pleased with the great feedback she has received from businesses as well as students and teachers. She and Davis appreciate everyone who helped make Manufacturing Day a success. “Aligning business needs with curriculum will ensure Davie County has a ready and able workforce to meet the challenges of businesses today and in the future.”

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