Students explore Decatur manufacturing

DECATUR, Ill. (WAND)- High school students met with local manufacturers Thursday as part of Decatur Manufacturing Days.

The third annual event brought representatives of more than a dozen firms to Richland Community College for an expo with students.

“The point is to expose these kids, who may or may not have ever understood what happens in their community, to manufacturing,” explained Andrew Taylor, Economic Development Officer for the Economic Development Corporation for Decatur and Macon County. “They understand it in an abstract sense. This is a way to make it a real concept in their mind”

Thursday, students from MacArthur and Eisenhower High Schools attended the event; Heartland Technical Academy students are expected to attend Friday. Taylor said the manufacturing careers represented at the event are in demand and are provide an alternative to jobs that require expensive four-year degrees.

“Some of these kids don’t have that kind of money,” Taylor said. “These employers need these kids. Right now, everybody in this city is hiring, and they need as many people as they can get.”