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SOESD is connecting education and industry by co-sponsoring local tours with Southern Oregon Regional Economic Development (SOREDI) and Southern Oregon University (SOU). SOESD’s Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) and Career and Technical Education (CTE) Departments collaborated to hold three tours emphasizing manufacturing during this school year. Two tours brought educators to local industries in Jackson and Josephine Counties. Highlighted were amazing world-class businesses right here in the Rogue Valley, including NIC Industries, Cascade Fire, Rogue Valley PreCast, Dan Foss, SOS Sanitation, Oregon Swiss Precision, Katana Craft and Playcraft Systems. Educators learned about potential employers’ hiring desires and needs, while making contacts for future career connected learning opportunities. On the other hand, initiated by Brian Robin, SOESD’s CTE Regional Coordinator, the “Meet Your Future Employees Tour: Manufacturing” brought personnel from local industry and post-secondary education to high schools to appreciate their CTE Manufacturing programs. Quotes from attendees included “I loved hearing (students’) passion for the work they are doing and for their instructors. I was impressed with their professionalism, maturity, and communication skills” and (I was impressed by) “their facilities and course offerings! They are working on some really dynamic projects. I also really enjoyed talking with the students directly about their experiences and the connections and plans they are making for their post high school life.” As Karla Clark, SOESD’s STEM Hub Director says, “Behind every CTE program is STEM.” These two departments of SOESD work together to get the latest trends and industry-specific knowledge into local students’ and educators’ hands. This is to help our youth be viable in today’s evolving job market. Keep an eye out for additional tours in the works!

Photos by WolffHam Media LLC.  Instagram: 

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