DENISON, TEXAS -- Tomorrow, Luis Zamora, just a year out of Denison High School, will begin his full-time job with Champion Cooler. Today marked the end of his year-long manufacturing internship with the company.
"When I first started I was like, man, I'm not going to do this. Then whenever I finished it, I was like yes. I'm actually something now," Zamora said.
Luis is one of a handful of local graduates who earned a manufacturing internship out of high school. Last year, manufacturing companies in the area reached out to Denison Development Alliance and Workforce Solutions Texoma to start the internship program.
"They began to talk about a real need to put a focus back on manufacturing and manufacturing training," Workforce Solutions Texoma Director of External Relations Bob Rhoden said.
Champion Cooler was one of the companies that wanted to take in local high school grads as interns.
"Let them know that there are good jobs and good opportunities right here in their own backyard," Champion Cooler Operations Manager Derek Kyzar said.
Manufacturing is a big industry in Texoma. Texoma workforce officials say that while recent grads might not think of it as a glamorous job, it can be a viable career.
"It's a very stable job for young people, or for anyone. Even when layoffs occur, these are typically the types of people that other companies are looking for very quickly," Rhoden said.
Luis says that to him, this isn't just about a job, it's about family.
"I kinda wanted to follow in my dad's footsteps. He started at a company, he didn't know anything and he learned everything. You know, I kinda wanted to follow in his footsteps," Zamora said.
In Denison, Allison Harris, First News.