SEDC investing heavily in future employees, future jobs; Manufacturing Day will give students inside look at local careers
Posted on 10/4/2017 8:01:00 AM.
(Seguin) -- The Seguin Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors continues to make investments in the future of the local economy. Specifically, the board is again showing its support for the need to connect today's students with the future local jobs of tomorrow.
The SEDC board met on Monday to discuss some of the latest efforts to educate students about the jobs and career pathways that exist here in Seguin. Josh Schneuker, city of Seguin economic development director, says they are hosting a big Manufacturing Day event on Friday to help introduce local middle schoolers to some of the bigger employers in the community.
"The Manufacturing Day this year is Oct. 6 and it's kind of a day to bring awareness of manufacturers. It's something that's celebrated throughout the country. There's going to be events taking place on a regional level, a state wide level and here in Seguin. We thought it would be a great day to expose some of our youth to the careers that are available in their backyard. So we'll be taking eighth graders, about 180 from middle schools, Navarro Middle School and the two Seguin middle schools to visit with nine of our area manufacturers and expose them to the careers, the operations and just get them in front of what's in their own backyard and let them know that they do have a career path here in Seguin," said Schneuker.
The SEDC, the Seguin Area Chamber of Commerce, the Central Texas Technology Center (CTTC), the Texas Workforce Commission, several local employers and schools have been working together on what's being called a Talent Pipeline Project. It's all about making sure that students get the necessary skills while they are in school to help them fill the large number of jobs that are available locally. Schneuker says the Manufacturing Day event fits in nicely with this concept of working together to build a higher quality workforce for this region.
"One of the biggest issues that we hear from not just manufacturers, but businesses across all industries is the workforce. Do we have the workforce to fill positions that are open now and looking forward in the future -- will we have the talent available to fill those positions? That's a big concern for us. We've got to look forward and position ourselves so that we're able to retain our businesses here and recruit new businesses here as well. By working to expose kids in middle school and in high school to the different businesses here in Seguin, we hope that it goes a long way and maybe changing their mindset on the career decisions that they make in life," said Schneuker.
The Manufacturing Day event wasn't the only student focused item on Monday's SEDC agenda. Schneuker also told the board some good news about a grant proposal that was submitted in support of the CTTC and the students it serves.
"The SEDC and the New Braunfels Economic Development Corporation along with Workforce Solutions Alamo, we all partnered on a grant application through the Texas Workforce Commission. The grant is called the High Demand Job Training Program and essentially, the economic development organizations can leverage funding for high demand jobs and any training or equipment that might be associated with them. We put in an application in partnering with CTTC and identifying a skills gap that we have in the region with CMC machinist and knew we that we needed to increase the amount of training that's available out here. We applied for this grant and the funding will be used to purchase four new CMC machines that will be housed at the CTTC. We were notified last week that we were awarded that grant and now it's all kind of paperwork and all that good stuff. We're hoping those machines in place at the center, hopefully, by the end of the year is kind of the goal," said Schneuker.
The new equipment once it's installed will provide some real world training for students at the CTTC, and allow local employers to find the skilled workers that they need for the future.
"We're really excited with that. We've got a lot of manufacturers here that use CMC machines in their operations. This will give kids within the Alamo Academies Program the chance to train on those machines, get them some experience before they might intern with manufacturer who uses CMC machines. It should be a really good thing for our region, New Braunfels and Seguin," said Schneuker.
The SEDC also received reports from staff that indicated the joint Seguin and New Braunfels regional job fair held last week was a big success. Hundreds of people showed up for the event at the CTTC. They say it was the second year for the job fair, and even more people showed up for this year's event. At least 10 people were hired on the spot, and dozens more were able to directly connect with the employers who were on hand for the job fair.
SEDC, Seguin Economic Development Corporation, Manufacturing Day

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