LEONARDTOWN, Md. – In support of National Manufacturing Day (Oct. 7), St Mary’s County’s Department of Economic Development teamed up with St. Mary’s Public School’s James A Forrest Career and Technology Center (Forrest Center), to offer students tours of local manufacturing firms.
St. Mary’s County is home to a range of advanced manufacturing and aircraft modification businesses.
Two of St Mary’s advanced manufacturing and modification firms, CTSi and Platform Aerospace, opened their shop floors to more than 50 students from three programs at the Forrest Center – Engineering, Computer-Aided Design and Drafting (CADD) and Production Engineering.
The tours, tailored to the specific study programs, help demonstrate the skilled, creative, high technology-based career paths available here in our region.
Manufacturing Day is a national initiative designed to increase awareness among young people to consider the many career opportunities in manufacturing. “This effort highlights the creative and high-tech career options that are available to our high school students,” stated Chris Kaselemis, Director, St. Mary’s County Department of Economic Development. “The shop tours help to demystify our advanced manufacturing operations and offer pathways for future employment.”
The Forrest Center offers a wide variety of career-specific programs that enable students to gain technical and academic skills through elective courses as well as two- and three-year programs.
Additionally, the “Tech Jobs Rule” program, an initiative with the Forrest Center, the Strategic Education Office of NAWCAD, The Patuxent Partnership, and several industry partners, offers students interested in skilled work in manufacturing and STEM fields, paid apprenticeship opportunities with local industry and government.
Platform Aerospace has successfully recruited four former Forrest Career students into full-time employment and currently has four apprentices working within the company.