Have you ever turned on a faucet and considered how pipes are made? Or attended a baseball game and wondered who built the nets that keep spectators safe? Students in the Kingman area are getting a first-hand look at these, and many other items that are manufactured locally, and they’re getting inspired about their education as they do.
For the past two years, educators with Kingman Unified School District and the team at the Kingman and Mohave Manufacturers Association (KAMMA) have teamed up to host high school students on an educational tour of manufacturers in the area.
Students who are interested, many of whom are already part of the Western Arizona Vocational Education program, join in groups and travel to the industrial park near Kingman. It’s eye-opening just to go there, as many don’t even know that the park exists. Students then tour four participating businesses to learn how products are made, how employees use science and math in their day-to-day work, and even how employees conduct themselves professionally. They see everything from airplane part creation and engineering firms to pipe making and baseball backstop netting.
Currently in its second year, Kingman Manufacturing Day attracted 60 students from Kingman and Bullhead City area high schools, along with 12 participating companies. It has been a great opportunity for youth to visualize how they’ll use what they’re learning in the classroom, while also exploring potential career avenues that were likely previously unexplored. Many will be able to pursue a certificate or other professional training that will aid them in pursuit of their career, which is vital since so many jobs now require training beyond high school. In fact, the Arizona Education Progress Meter notes that nearly 70 percent of all jobs will require postsecondary training by the year 2020, though only 22 percent of Mohave/La Paz county residents hold an associate’s degree or higher.
These students are getting a first-hand look at local jobs that they can aim for, while also gaining a better understanding of how their educational pursuits will play into their future employment. It’s a valuable and enlightening effort made possible by both school and local business leaders.