Local manufacturers were encouraged to open their doors to the public in honor of Manufacturing Day, which Fort Scott recognized on Friday.
Visitors to such businesses could get a glimpse of how those facilities work as well as the benefits of learning such a trade. Local and out of town high school students got to participate, such as by visiting Fort Scott Community College.
Faculty of the college including Nacoma Oehme, the program industry coordinator in charge of the technical programs, gave demonstrations on welding, construction, heating and air, emphasizing how such trades are always in demand.
“They can bring a trade with them anywhere,” Oehme said, adding that Manufacturing Day opens their eyes to career options the students may not have ever considered. “I think it’s a great deal for them.”
More than 400 students from seven high schools visited the campus, which also hosted booths and demonstrations from Pittsburg State University students and faculty, who showed recent technology improvements that can also be used in areas of manufacturing. The Bourbon County Young Professionals League was also present to hand out free lunches to the students.
“For generations, manufacturing has played a critical role in Fort Scott’s economy,” Mayor JoLynne Mitchell said during last week’s city commission meeting, pointing out the local manufacturers employ about 1,400 people, adding 380 jobs to the area just since 2010.