High school students from Hilldale Public Schools toured two Muskogee manufacturing companies recently. At Georgia-Pacific, students heard from community leaders who discussed the importance of manufacturing to Muskogee’s economy and learned about the variety of career opportunities available at Muskogee’s largest manufacturing employers.
“With more than 3,500 workers, Muskogee is one of the largest manufacturing communities in the state,” said Marie Synar, deputy director of the Port of Muskogee’s Industrial Development office. “According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the average salary for manufacturing jobs in Muskogee is greater than $51,000 per year. We want these students to realize that no matter what they are interested in, from engineering and production to human resources and accounting, there are opportunities for them to earn a good living right here in Muskogee.”
At Dal-Tile, students heard from a panel of young adults employed by Acme Engineering and Manufacturing, Advantage Controls, Dal-Tile, Georgia-Pacific, and Vallourec Star. These young panelists visited with students about how they first got involved in manufacturing and the type of education and training needed for jobs within their companies.
Hilldale is the second school to participate in the manufacturing awareness tours, organized by the Port of Muskogee’s Dream It. Do It. Committee. The committee, comprised of education and industry partners, is tasked with combating the negative perceptions of the manufacturing industry and raising awareness of local manufacturing careers.
Dal-Tile is one of eight local manufacturers serving on the Port’s Dream It. Do It. committee, partnering with educational and workforce partners to develop strategies to create a future pipeline of workers. “We are pleased to host these students on a tour of our facility,” said Joseph Fuller, human resources manager for Dal-Tile. “There are a variety of jobs in Muskogee, and we need to educate our teachers and students about the opportunities available in the manufacturing industry.”
“We are thrilled to participate in the manufacturing tours. It will give our students the opportunity to explore outside of the classroom and to learn what prospective employers will expect of them in the future. It is especially good for students to discover Muskogee and the opportunities that await them locally after graduation,” said Judy Moore, sophomore and senior counselor for Hilldale Public Schools. “This is a positive experience for both employers and students.”