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June 27--  High school students in Vidalia, Toombs, Treutlen and Montgomery county schools have an opportunity to learn about careers in manufacturing in a program starting next school term.  It could also put some money in their pockets.

Local manufacturers, Southeastern Early College and Career Academy (SECCA), and Southeastern Technical College (STC)have partnered to offer a new dual enrollment certification program for high school students interested in general and advanced manufacturing careers.

The Certified Manufacturing Specialist (CMS) certificate program will start in August of 2012 and end in May of 2013. The goal of this one year program is to help students develop the skills necessary to gain employment and advance in today’s highly technical manufacturing environment. 

Students who complete this program will be awarded a technical college certificate from STC, earn high school credit for their coursework, and earn the right to participate in a competitive interview process for several paid internships with local manufacturers in the Toombs County area that could lead to long-term employment opportunities.

Using a hands-on approach to learning, the content of this program covers several areas including: manufacturing processes, general plant safety, teamwork, communication, problem solving, statistical process control, Lean Manufacturing techniques, tools, hydraulic systems, pneumatic systems, electrical fundamentals, industrial controls, automation, applied mathematical applications, blueprint reading, powered truck operations, work ethics, and various manufacturing simulations.

Also, students will take tours of local manufacturing facilities and participate in live training activities at manufacturing sites. William Soto, Chicken of the Sea Georgia Canning’s General Manager, stated “In order for our community to grow and prosper - we want to form partnerships with our youth to help train them on job skills for a successful tomorrow."

Many local manufacturers and distributors such as Chicken of the Sea, US Pet Nutrition, Truax Veneer, Ingersoll Rand, US Energy Sciences, Vidalia Valley, Bestline Sash and Door (a division of VNS Corporation),Tumi Luggage, DOT Foods, Robin Builders, Savannah Luggage and others will be participating in this program.

Andy Kimball, owner of Truax Veneer of Lyons, stated “By working with STC and SECCA, our goal isto develop a program that will help the youth of our community learn and develop the skills necessary to gain access to and succeed in today’s highly technical manufacturing occupations.”

The field of advanced manufacturing offers multiple career opportunities for scientists, engineers, machine operators, machine programmers, skilled production workers, and welders just to name a few. This program is geared towards any student who has a desire to learn the basic skills necessary to be successful in a manufacturing environment and exposes students to local manufacturing opportunities and practices.

To participate in this program, a student must be a rising junior or senior in high school who is at least 16 years of age and meets the minimum enrollment requirements for admission into STC.

Through our SECCA partnership, this program is open to any student who meets the basic participation requirements and attends Toombs County High School, Treutlen High School, Montgomery County High School, or Vidalia Comprehensive High School.

If you would like your high school student to participate in the 2012-2013CMS program or want to participate as a business partner, please contact SECCA Director of High School Programs Ryan Flowers at 912-253-6527or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view soon as possible.

Only one cohort of students will participate in this year’s program, so applications will be accepted on a first come, first serve basis.