Cowley College’s main campus in Arkansas City was packed full of Arkansas City eighth-graders during the school’s Manufacturing Day event Nov. 15.

Close to 200 eighth-graders had an opportunity to tour the Harold Walker Industrial Technology Building and learn about the different manufacturing programs offered at the college.

Cowley College President Dennis Rittle; Tina Grillot, Cowley College associate vice president for business and industry; and machine tool instructor Ricky Squires were among those to speak to the students gathered in the Earle N. Wright Community Room.

Jennifer Porter, who is employed with Skyline Corp. in Ark City, discussed career opportunities with her company and informed the students of what manufacturing careers have to offer.

Students received live demonstrations and participated in hands-on activities in the automotive, machine tool, Mechatronics, non-destructive testing, and welding programs.

Jim Ailey, Joe Clasen, Daniel Higdon, Bob Moffatt, Ricky Squires, Tim Walton and Shawn White were among the Cowley instructors who helped with the event.

Grillot said 176 evaluations were turned in at the conclusion of the event and the majority reported that while they had not considered a technical career prior to the event, they would now.

Numerous other eighth-graders reported that they were interested in a technical career prior to the event and were even more so now.

“I find the eighth grade is an important age to get involved with because it is a time when the students start looking at career paths they might be interested in,” Grillot said.

“A lot of students do not know what career and technical education is about. Being able to bring the students here to use the equipment may spark their interest.”

This information was provided by Cowley College Director of Institutional Communications Rama Peroo.