Last Friday, students of Cloud & Fire had the chance to participate in the long-awaited Manufacturing Day at Los Angeles Valley College. This was a full day of networking, panels, and workshops. Students from our manufacturing class, career pathways class and YouthBuild Policy Council were able to participate, and they all learned a lot during their time at the event.
After a tour of the entire campus, students gathered in the main auditorium. They listened to Congressman Tony Cardenas give a rousing and highly motivational talk, encouraging students to essentially dream big and work hard (our theme this year!) no matter their circumstances. Then a panel of manufacturing professionals answered questions ranging from the details of working in the field to what kind of skills students can begin developing now in high school. Each panelist also talked about their unique stories and life paths, revealing the many facets and possibilities of a career in manufacturing.
Following this more informational portion was a time for students to visit manufacturer’s tables and do a little networking. Several different industries were represented, from aerospace companies to sustainable waste management. Then the program reached its most practical point when each student was placed into a different workshop taught by LAVC’s manufacturing faculty. They built circuit boards for LED lights, started on blueprints for 3D models using a specialized computer program, got to use some of the shop machines to make keychains, and so much more. Alan Lima said, “It was an awesome experience. I learned that there are a lot of opportunities within manufacturing. Being there definitely increased my interest, especially when we got to use the machines.” Upon reflection, Michael Cortez wished the workshops had lasted longer so he could keep learning. All the students of Cloud & Fire really appreciated the chance to learn more about manufacturing, especially within the setting of college and academic development.