Summer Day Camp Gives Students a Look at the Manufacturing Industry and the Working World

For immediate release

Date: June 27, 2018
Contact: Office of Government, Policy and Public Relations
Bill Thoennes at (303) 318-8004 or Cher Haavind at (303) 318-8003
Fax: (303) 318-8070
Web:  www.colorado.gov/cdle

Traincation groupIf we’re being honest, many of the things that seem straightforward to us now were once a complete mystery.  That’s how it is for thousands of Colorado teenagers today who are trying to figure out the world and their place in it.

For 22 middle school students from Morgan County, the mystery became a little less confusing this summer.  These young people got an opportunity to do some career exploration as a part of TRAINcation, a four-day summer camp sponsored by NECOM, the Northeastern Colorado Manufacturers Group and the Workforce Centers of Eastern Colorado.

The camp had the teens interacting with educators and representatives from businesses across Northeastern Colorado.  Each morning, as campers settled in for the day, T.J. Schneider with Morgan Community College, Vince Mooney of Dairy Farmers of America, Katherine Nieman of Kaiser Premier and Barry Walter, Jr., with the Barry E. Walter, Sr. Company talked with the teens about the importance of building the groundwork to their future and importance of “soft skills” that would benefit them in school and as essential skills for employment.  The first day focused on attendance and in each session thereafter, accountability, attitude and ambition were discussed.

On the first day, the Brush School District transported the young people to three local businesses where they got an exclusive tour and saw each businesses’ operations up close.  The tours opened the door to the marketplace and provided a valuable companion piece to what they had learned in school, helping them see how classroom and textbook learning can be applied to real-world situations.

At the Fort Morgan McDonalds restaurant, students went behind the counter to see the restaurant’s operations and the equipment used to prepare food quickly and uniformly.  The students each got the chance to make their own McDonalds hamburger.  At Brookelinn Graphix, they printed bags using a screen print process and workers at MakerSpace showed them how coding is an intricate part of automation in the Manufacturing Industry.

At every tour stop, the young people watched as challenges were confronted and a variety of products were created.  At each stop, they saw first-hand the value of commitment, about gaining confidence and working with others.

On the second day, the group went to Greenback Mobile Wheat Cleaning in Fort Morgan, where they saw how the company builds its own equipment and sends them throughout the United States to harvest a variety of grains.

Day 3 featured a tour at a newer manufacturing business, Kaiser Premier LLC.   The company produces trucks that are equipped to do sewer and oil field pipe cleaning. The students toured the fabrication shop, the paint garage and the finish production floor.

On the last day of camp, the students were introduced to the Barry E. Walter, Sr. Company, a manufacturer that makes brass plumbing replacement parts that are shipped throughout the United States.  Here, students learned how a constant focus on technology increases new capabilities and effectiveness in Manufacturing.

This was the fourth year for TRAINcation, an event that has grown in popularity with each year.  Josh Gibbs of the Eastern Colorado Workforce Centers and Elinor Brown of Morgan Community College worked closely with the Northeastern Colorado Manufacturers Group in planning the 2018 day camp and in organizing the presentations and tours.  Jessica Castellron a student at Brush High School and Celeste Chavez, a recent graduate, completed their second summer internship with TRAINcation.

Together, these organizations and individuals are finding creative ways of tapping into a student talent pipeline that will help the industry fill future jobs in Manufacturing.  They have created an important community initiative, one that should see a very high return on the investment.

Please check out the website for more information: www.northeastcoloradomanufacturers.com.

Photos from TRAINcation are available upon request.