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Exploring a path beyond high school: Event shows possibilities of manufacturing careers

An event at Ohio University Southern on Thursday offered high school students a chance to explore career paths beyond high school.

About 60 students from Green Local, Greenup, Raceland Worthington and Russell Independent high schools attended the Creating the Tri-State’s Tomorrow Today (CT3), by Inspiration-Education-Career Exploration, in the Mains Rotunda at the university.

“The premise of today is to introduce high school students to career opportunities in manufacturing,” Bethany Simmons, community advisory panel facilitator for ALTIVIA-SunCoke-Veolia, said. “There’s a misconception that everyone has to go to a four-year college. There are a variety of skilled trades here, as well as community and technical schools.”

Simmons said the community advisory panel meets in Ironton and is comprised of representatives from ALTIVIA Petrochemicals LLC and SunCoke Energy, of Haverhill, and Veolia, with locations in Boyd and Greenup County, Kentucky.

She said they often hear that students are leaving the area in search of work after graduation.

“This educates local students that there are good job opportunities right here at home.”

Those companies had staff on hand to speak with the students and offer demonstrations, as well speak about career opportunities and what is needed to pursue them.

Also on hand was Collins Career and Technical Center, who had a booth offering things such as a virtual reality tour of their robotics lab.

Curtis Tritapoe, plant manager for Veolia, spoke of his company’s role in the event.

“We are basically trying to enlighten and educate students on different aspects of the job,” he said. “There are opportunities in this area and we need welders, pipefitters, electricians and different talents.”

Simmons said this was the first year for the event and that they hope to expand it in the future.