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CMS students introduced to Lake Norman manufacturing options


In partnership with the Lake Norman Education Collaborative, Lake Norman Economic Development (LNED) recently coordinated its first Journey 360 manufacturing event for students at Hopewell, Hough and North Mecklenburg high schools.

During the program in early March, 60 individuals were introduced to three of the region’s manufacturing environments: KURZ USA, Pester Pac Automation and Poly-Tech Industrial.

At each location, students toured the facility and met with representatives from the human resources, sales, marketing, leadership, IT and technician departments to better understand the holistic view of manufacturing.

“What an amazing experience for high school students to have the opportunity to investigate their career options,” said Huntersville Mayor Melinda Bales, who has been a proponent of the Collaborative for many years and currently serves as co-chair of the organization. “We are truly blessed in Huntersville to have such incredible business partners that see the value of investing in our students. Journey 360 was a slam dunk for all that participated.”

After panel discussions at all three manufacturers, students were able to participate in a tour of the Central Piedmont Community College Merancas campus in Huntersville, where they learned about programs that can advance their future careers.

LNED and Collaborative representatives also met with the Career and Technical Education (CTE) coordinators at all three high schools to identify students who are looking for career opportunities after high school.

“Our world depends on manufacturing, and it was fun to watch the light bulb go off in the minds of students who may be entering the workforce within a year or two,” said LNED Workforce Development Manager Elizabeth Underwood. “Journey 360 is an opportunity to show students

what’s made in their backyards and the many departments it takes to run these companies successfully.”

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