On Tuesday, November 29, Graduate Memphis sponsored more than 40 students from Shelby County high schools to participate in a Process Technology Career Fair. Hosted by Southwest Tennessee Community College and Arkansas State University Mid-South, the career fair was held in the Nabors Auditorium on Southwest’s Macon Cove Campus.
The career fair focused on Process Technology programs offered by both community colleges. Students from Douglass, Hamilton, Kingsbury and Kirby high schools were provided with information sessions on the academic programs offered and how those programs prepare graduates for jobs in the field of Process Technology. Students interacted in question and answer sessions with college instructors and watched demonstrations of equipment and tools used in the field of process technology.
After the classroom tours, the students met representatives from companies that offer jobs in the field of Process Technology. Participating companies included Coca-Cola, Hershey Foods, Lucite International, Memphis GP Cellulose, SmithGlaxoKline, Sonoco, Sparco.com (Millington) and Valero.
Graduate Memphis worked with SUCCESS High Schools to identify interested seniors. Students were provided transportation to the event and lunch afterwards. Student evaluations conducted after the career fair indicated that the exposure to the academic and applied field of Process Technology was quite helpful. Overall, students (67.65%) indicated not being familiar with this field prior to participating in the career fair. Notwithstanding, 82.35% of the students expressed satisfaction with the information provided.
The event increased student awareness of the many different programs and benefits offered by Southwest and ASU-Mid South. The event also demonstrated the collective regional effort to better prepare workers with customized training necessary to grow and advance in a manufacturing career. It is expected that more than 3,000- plus jobs in this field will become available by 2018.
In addition to Southwest Tennessee Community College and Arkansas State University Mid-South, Graduate Memphis collaborated with Greater Memphis Alliance for a Competitive Workforce (GMACW), the Memphis Chamber and the Memphis Workforce Investment Network to sponsor this event.