Made in Seguin Manufacturing Tour makes impact on area students

Made in Seguin Manufacturing Tour makes impact on area students Main Photo

1 Nov 2022

News, City of Seguin, Seguin Works, Manufacturing, Talent Pipeline, SEDC, Made in Seguin Tours

Seguin, TX, USA / Seguin Today

Cindy Aguirre

(Seguin) – A recent tour of manufacturing plants in Seguin was more than just a tour. It was real insight into what someone’s future could look like. That was especially the case for Navarro Senior Case Monroe.

Monroe was among the 60 Seguin, Navarro and Marion High School students who all spent the day last Wednesday touring nine different manufacturing facilities. The Made in Seguin Manufacturing Industry Bus Tour was part of celebrating National Manufacturing Day. This was the fourth time that the Seguin Economic Development Corporation has hosted this initiative for local juniors and seniors.

When it came to the behind the scenes look at these plants, Monroe says he was most amazed.

“It’s been really interesting seeing all of the different equipment. Really, my biggest take away has been that every machine needs a person to help run that machine — every piece of equipment has an operator as well,” said Monroe.

On the list of stops were Ameritex Pipe; Alamo Industrial; Minigrip; CMC Steel Texas; Tejin Automotive; Cargill; United Alloy, Vitesco Technologies and Caterpillar. 

Monroe, who hopes to major in business at Texas Tech, says his future just expanded with new possibilities.

“That’s another thing that I’ve noticed is there is the factory side of everything but you also have to think about the front desk and all the sales that go into it and the engineering so it makes you realize there are so many job opportunities just in Seguin that you can have,” said Monroe.

While on the production floor at United Alloy, Monroe says just seeing what Seguin has to offer was perhaps the best part for him especially this close to graduation. He says these tours showed a side of Seguin he never realized was there.

“I was definitely shocked. I have always driven by this place. I really didn’t know what it was and now I’m here and it’s like ‘okay.’ I didn’t even know it’s here. It’s pretty interesting,” said Monroe.

SEDC officials say Monroe’s understanding of the Made in Seguin Manufacturing Tours is exactly what they wanted. They say these advanced manufacturing jobs present local students with a variety of career opportunities right in their own backyard.

“Students must think about career pathways early and often. This year we chose to focus on our 11th & 12th grade career and technical education (CTE) students. Educators and employers working together can collectively build pathways that both fill an economic need for employers and prepare students for success in good jobs,” said Josh Schneuker, director of economic development for the city of Seguin.

Excited about bridging students with this array of possibilities is Sandra Hensley, the business and marketing teacher at Navarro High School.

Navarro High School. 

“Some of these students will go directly into the workforce after graduation, some will go off to college, but I think the opportunities at any of these manufacturing facilities is for all of them,” said Hensley.

The CTE teacher says the tour works to erase any myths about the manufacturing industry.

“I think there is just opportunity for all of them – even if it’s human resource, if it’s safety, if it’s welding, engineering. There are just opportunities for all of them,” said Hensley.

Employers also appear to be on the receiving end of these high school tours. Chiming in on those benefits is Bill Vanderwaal, director of Mill Operations, CMC Steel Texas.

“At CMC Steel Texas, we have evolved over our 75 years of doing business in south Texas. Two aspects that have evolved the most and are intertwined are safety and automation. Modern manufacturing is extremely safe, high tech and rewarding. We appreciate opportunities like Manufacturing Day to show the future workforce and their parents just how far manufacturing has come and to meet the people that make that happen,” said Vanderwaal.

The Seguin region has nearly 7,000 manufacturing jobs – more than three times the national average.

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