By Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Students from North Pontotoc High School received a hands-on introduction to manufacturing on Wednesday.
Visiting Itawamba Community College’s Belden Center and later the company SRG in Tupelo, the 20 students participated in various simulations. They followed standardized instructions to build a LEGO car in a mock assembly line, operated machines, filled orders at a shipping and receiving station and recognized patterns on computer screens, among other tasks.
Russell Lamb, who teaches the students in the NPHS occupational diploma program, said it was rewarding to see students realize they had skills they didn’t know they had. Several of them excelled on the various simulations.
“They’ve been really motivated by seeing new skills pop out,” Lamb said.
The students began at the Belden Center, where they participated in seven modules of the Physical Assessment of Skills Simulation.
“These young people will be entering the workforce, and we want them to have a good job with a good future,” said Lee Oswalt, workforce development project manager at ICC.
SRG is a workforce solutions company that helps Toyota Tier-1 suppliers and other businesses with hiring. There, the students heard a presentation about manufacturing job opportunities and practiced on the assembly line simulation.
“I enjoy working with high schools because it gives us the opportunity to expose students to manufacturing,” said Todd Beadles, manager of workforce planning and development at SRG. “We are trying to create a talent pool for the future.”
Sophomore Steven Hester, 16, said he learned how various processes work. Fellow sophomore Gabrielle Giompoletti, 17, enjoyed learning new skills.
“I felt positive about myself,” she said.