Teachers need students to be excited about learning. Students need good jobs when they graduate. Manufacturers need a skilled workforce. It’s easy to see the connections, but not so easy to make them.

Despite increasing job opportunities, students’ awareness of manufacturing remains relatively low compared to other types of industries.

A new program developing between Hudson Technologies and a group of local high school students hopes to change this.

Working with the Volusia Manufacturers Association (VMA), Hudson Technologies is mentoring students with the Academy of Drafting and Design at Seabreeze High School, one of several career academies serving secondary education students in Volusia County, Florida.

The program kicked off with a job shadowing day. The students got to meet their mentors and learn more about Hudson Technologies’ products and processes.

After dividing into smaller groups, the students then spent the rest of the day working alongside tool and die makers, design engineers, and in the lab with quality assurance technicians.

“The whole experience was professionally done. Everyone who had contact with the students had them totally engaged in what was going on,” said Career Academy Teacher Randy Griffin. Back at school, Griffin asked the students to put together a presentation and share their experiences with all the Academy students. More events are planned and Hudson Technologies is also developing a tool and die maker apprenticeship program.

Hudson Technologies President Mark Andrews, who serves on the VMA board of directors, is encouraging area manufacturers to participate in the program with other local schools. “One of Hudson’s core values is ‘Stewarding Our Legacy’ and my hope is that this program will not only help students and their parents become more familiar with our company but increase their awareness of the overall quality and variety of opportunities that manufacturing careers have to offer.”

Making connections, one student at a time.