Ninth grade scholars from St. Louis College Prep had a chance on Friday to tour two local colleges, Harris Stowe State University and Ranken Technical College.
Half of the freshman class were able to participate in Ranken’s Manufacturing Day, a national program which brings high school students into technical colleges and manufacturing industries to see the potential a career in manufacturing could provide in today’s high-tech world.
“A lot of people think manufacturing is a dirty job,” said Ranken Dean of Enrollment Management Missy Borchardt. “It is not. It is very high tech and takes very technical skills.”
As part of the event St. Louis College Prep scholars had a chance to meet with area manufacturing industry leaders and find out the variety of things that are made in the area.
“We are also giving a presentation to the students talking about the demand that is out her for manufacturing,” said Borchardt. “The demand is more than we can supply at this point. It is a promising future.”
Scholars also toured the school, learning about a variety of programs offered including construction, welding, electrical engineering and machining.
“Everything you buy has been touched by manufacturing at some point,” said Borchardt. “We want to help build the workforce to move the nation forward.”
St. Louis College Prep STEM Coordinator Scott Clithero said the visit was key for the scholars for a variety of reasons.
“At this point ninth graders are just exploring college so we want to expose them to as many of the different opportunities as we can,” he explained. “It is also amazing for them to be able to hear from these people how their science and math courses are going to help them make a living or give them the prerequisite skills they need to succeed. It is essential to selling what we are doing in the classroom.”
At Harris Stowe, scholars had a chance to tour the campus and find out what the college had to offer.
While on the tour a Harris Stowe student stopped the group for some good advice.
“Everything you do matters,” he told the scholars. “Do it now, and don't wait till you’re grown to realize what matters.”
In the spring, the scholars will have the opportunity to visit the college they did not see this week.