Program giving local high schoolers real world manufacturing experience

GRAYSON COUNTY, Tex. (KXII) - Four local companies gave a total of $153,000 toward the new Advanced Manufacturing Program Monday.

This is what the new equipment center will look like when completed in January. It will be a manufacturing lab aimed at bridging the gap for high school students coming to Grayson College for manufacturing jobs.

The program gives local high school students a chance to get experience in their high schools with the hope that they'll continue the program at Grayson College.

"It's amazing," said Amy Evans, the marketing director at Grayson College. "We have 42 students right now in four high schools: Sherman, Denison, Whitesboro and Pottsboro."

Workforce Solutions Texoma has been heading the effort to raise $700,000 for the program. The money will go toward a new equipment center for manufacturing at Grayson College.

Three manufacturing companies collectively gave $53,000 toward the effort, and Texas Workforce Solutions gave $100,000 for the effort.

"It's really an answer to things requested by our local community," Evans said. "Our manufacturers needed more workforce, they needed people to fill those vacancies, and this is an answer to those requests."

Concrete was just poured Monday for the lab, and the construction is expected to complete by January.

"It's gonna be an open lab space, so there's gonna be a lot of equipment drill presses and things," Evans said. "It'll be a great learning lab for our students."

One of those high school students is Carley Byrum, a Pottsboro High School 10th grader who's in her first year of the program.

"I think it's cool to give kids an opportunity, and I think it would be cool to have a job in manufacturing in college," Byrum said.

She said the program makes it easier for students unsure about their future job.

"It's kinda great," Byrum said. "It shows they have hope in small town kids."

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