Arleene Loyd, Executive Director, Gainesville EDC, TX

Gainesville, Texas. We formed a new Manufacturing Consortium this year that helped us plan our event. 100 sophomore, junior and senior students attended - double prior years' attendance. We had 4 buses with 25 students each, each bus toured two manufacturers. They then came to the Civic Center for a presentation by our EDC executive director and the chair of our technical college at North Texas Central College to present dual credit opportunities. The students then had lunch with a manufacturing executive and opportunity for personal interaction and
Q&A. The day wrapped with students touring booths of all participating manufacturers and partners and receiving a "passport" that highlighted career opportunities, earning potential, benefits and what employers are looking for.. This is the first step in an annual campaign we call Manufacturing Matters - Careers Start here. Beginning in January we will spotlight a manufacturer through a campaign featuring billboards, mayor proclamation, lunch and learns at area high schools, a wall display in the technical wing at the High School, College and EDC, new articles, and a spotlight on our new website,