Inviting local business owners to school for career day helps eighth graders view a possible future, and dispels some long held notions of the past.
When Steve Isaacs of Coach and Equipment came to visit Penn Yan Middle School, he wanted to make one thing clear; today’s factories do not look like photos of the past, as they are bright, clean, and filled with computers.
“Any notion that you have of how a factory might look from old movies or stories, it’s not true in any of our facilities,” he told a group of eighth-graders Friday during Penn Yan Middle School’s career day. “It’s not dark. It’s not damp.”
Isaacs was one of 18 people from the agriculture, tourism, health care, skilled trades and advanced manufacturing sectors who spoke during the event.
“There are opportunities in Penn Yan,” he said. “We’re all looking for good employees.”
Eighth-grader Elise Hallgren attended an earlier presentation by Isaacs, whose company makes buses. She said she found the company’s manufacturing process fascinating.
“It’s like all those parts come together to make a whole,” she said.
The career day was the first one held at the Middle School in many years.
Principal Kelley Johnson said Chamber of Commerce President Mark Linehan asked about doing another one. Staff members remembered the past event as a success and decided to give it a try.
“Next year, we hope to represent more industrial areas, more fields, more students,” she said.
Hallgren’s day was just getting started, but she thought career day would benefit her classmates.
“I already have a really good idea of what I want to do when I grow up, but hearing about all these careers is very interesting, and I think it will help a lot of people here,” she said.
Hallgren wants to study math — specifically, game theory. Her plans fit in well with a common career day refrain: Learn those numbers and formulas. Even if it’s tough now or seems like a pain, it will come in handy later, several speakers told the students.