(Wilkes-Barre, PA August 2, 2023) — Pete Ruggiero, Chief Operating Officer of Crayola, will serve…
(Wilkes-Barre, PA May 23, 2023) — The Northeastern Pennsylvania Industrial Resource Center’s (NEPIRC) Manufacturing Ambassador Dream Team Program is making an impact on high school students throughout northeastern, northern and north central Pennsylvania, just weeks after the program was officially introduced.
Since the program’s launch earlier this spring, the Dream Team Ambassadors have spoken to 4,935 students at 18 different school career events and classroom presentations throughout many of the counties NEPIRC serves, including Bradford, Columbia, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Susquehanna, Tioga, Wayne and Wyoming.
Kate Logan, quality systems manager for Noble Biomaterials in Scranton, has been an active ambassador, speaking at several high schools this year. Logan has been impressed with her interaction with many of the students she encounters.
“Some students know exactly what they want to be in the future while others did not have a set goal or career in mind just yet. For the students that had some idea, they were pleasantly surprised that their career interests could easily serve the needs of the manufacturing world. The students were surprised to learn about the diverse manufacturing companies locally,” said Logan.
The Manufacturing Ambassador Dream Team Program’s 31 ambassadors represent 25 companies. The program introduces high school students, faculty, administrators and parents to younger manufacturing professionals to gain a unique understanding of the vibrant manufacturing sector and the variety of jobs available in our region.
Logan, just like many of her fellow ambassadors, is benefitting as much from talking with the students as she hopes the students benefit from talking with her.
“As a Dream Team Ambassador, I was delighted to be in a classroom setting again. I felt like a student myself learning more about what students hope their futures will be. It was truly a privilege to be given the chance to inspire students on manufacturing industry opportunities and reinforced my own career passions. I am also grateful to have met some new friends among my fellow Dream Team Ambassadors! This was an exceptional experience and impactful to future potential colleagues,” she said.
Max McCabe, project manager for Cheetah Chassis in Berwick, knows that the future of manufacturing in the region rests on the interest of today’s high school students pursuing careers with manufacturing companies.”I think it’s important to recognize that if I am going to have a future in manufacturing that I will need the generations following me to be interested as well. That means getting out there and showing people what really goes on in the factories and what type of great opportunities are available to them. I take pride in being at least a small voice in advocating for manufacturing careers and this is a great way to do it,” said McCabe.
Dream Team Ambassadors and representatives from NEPIRC participated in the following classroom presentations and high school career fair events this year
- Scranton High School, multiple classroom presentations – Jeff Tague and Kim Smalley, CANPACK and Matt Wheeler, business advisor, NEPIRC• Towanda High School Career Day — Jim Winterringer and Nate Halverson, Towanda Metadyne
- JA Inspire Career Fair — Tiffany Weeks, Hydro; Julia Miller, Mitsubishi Chemical Group; Calvin O’Boyle, SIMONA; Jeff Tague, CANPACK; Max McCabe, Cheetah Chassis; Sam Anderline, Greiner; Kate Logan, Noble Biomaterials
- 2023 Career Pathways Fair, Tunkhannock High School — Alec Ciaglia, JAM Works; Sam Anderline, Greiner Packaging and Jeff Tague, CANPACK
- Tioga First Annual High School Job Fair — Matt Wheeler, business advisor, NEPIRC and Mitch Amoriello, production manager, Truck-Lite
- Forest City Regional High School classroom presentation — Jeff Tague, CANPACK and Matt Wheeler, NEPIRC
- Career Technology Center of Lackawanna County classroom presentation – Zach Mulhern, Ashley Machine & Tool
- How It’s Made Career Day at Blossburg Elementary School – Mitch Amoriello and Luke Mann, Truck-Lite
- Valley View High School, multiple classroom presentations — Julia Miller, Mitsubishi Chemical Group and Kate Logan, Noble Biomaterials
- Career Exploration Day at Pittston Area High School — Kim Smalley, CANPACK; Jarad Sarna, EAM Mosca; Kate Logan, Noble Biomaterials and Ian Vestrand, Cornell Cookson
- West Scranton High School classroom presentation — Matt Wheeler, NEPIRC
- Girl Power in STEM Event at Penn State Hazleton — Chelsey Coslett and Courtney Deignan, NEPIRC
- Carbondale Area High School classroom presentation — Kim Smalley, CANPACK
The Manufacturing Ambassador Dream Team Program has seen a steady increase in the requests for ambassadors to participate in high school career fairs as well as speaking to classrooms of high school students.
“We are very pleased that we exceeded our expectations in terms of the number of manufacturing ambassadors, the number of companies embracing the program and the geography of where they are located. The diversity of the participants in this program with respect to their backgrounds, employers and hometowns is what’s enabling us to participate in career programs at so many different schools,” said Eric Joseph Esoda, president and CEO, NEPIRC.
“As our manufacturing community continues to see the value in this program, we hope they will volunteer some of their team members if they are not already engaged in the effort, and as the schools see the program taking off we are hopeful that more and more schools will invite us in for presentations.” he said.
NEPIRC’s school outreach efforts are made possible by the Pennsylvania Manufacturing PA Training-to-Career Grant approved by the Department of Community & Economic Development in 2022.
Information about NEPIRC Manufacturing Ambassador Dream Team Program can be found on the program’s new website, nepirc.com/dreamteam.
School faculty and administrators interested in having a Dream Team Ambassador speak at a career fair, to a specific classroom, or other school event should contact Jenelle Osborne, Dream Team project coordinator via email, firstname.lastname@example.org.