Over 170 seniors from Burgin and Mercer Co. High Schools participated in the fourth annual Senior Industry Day on September 25, 2018. HMCIDA Executive Director Mike Willand facilitated planning for the event, though he quickly pointed out that it was a team success due to the dedicated commitment from many influencers in the community. Industry, education, and over 35 volunteers collaborated in providing information about companies, career tracks, and what it takes to succeed in those careers. Industries provided tours and Whitaker Bank provided lunch at Anderson-Dean Park. KU also provided lunch, with a tour at their location.
Since the inception of this event in 2015, (it was done twice that year) over 850 students in Mercer Co. and Burgin High Schools have participated in the Senior Industry Day. Willand said “the goal of the event is to increase the quality of the workforce in our region by raising awareness of students, educators and industry as to opportunities and what it takes to thrive in those roles.” He continued, “We want to be a dynamic catalyst for bringing industry and education together around common community goals. This only happens through intentional collaborative effort of many outstanding leaders. Building relationships and partnerships through on-going communication between education and industry only benefits our community and hopefully in time, attracts more opportunities as we continue to develop a talented and ready workforce.”
Each senior was able to visit two of the six local industries where they received a tour of the facility and a professional presentation about the company which included the following:
1. What services or products they provide
2. What specific knowledge, skills and abilities are needed for various roles
3. The importance of “essential team skills” in every industry, such as attendance, work ethic, becoming an effective contributor, remaining coachable, follow-through, continual learning, effective communication of all types, conflict resolution, consistency, leadership skills, etc.
4. Types of careers available and the various educational requirements for each
5. Benefits such as tuition reimbursement, healthcare, OJT training opportunities, retirement, etc.
6. What makes their industry a great career choice
7. Typical application process
It was a cooperative effort that included representatives from the following:
• Mercer Co. Schools
• Burgin Independent Schools
• Corning, Inc.
• Essity (formerly Wausau Paper)
• Haggin Hospital
• Hitachi Automotive
• Kentucky Utilities-E.W. Brown Plant (Also provided lunch)
• Whitaker Bank
Mercer County and Burgin Schools’ seniors learned about the various careers in the medical profession. More than 170 seniors toured the facility. Several hospital staff met with the group of students to educate them on what each department within the hospital did as well as educational requirements and potential salary in the medical field.
Kentucky Utilities provided a session on solar panels and how they are utilized at the power plant. Students also learned of the various jobs and employment opportunities provided by the company.