April 12 – Michigan Works! coordinated a day of Talent Tours for 21 Grayling High School students, starting at Camp Grayling’s Maneuver Area Training Equipment Site (MATES).
Sgt. Peyton Zigila (left) and Sgt. Sam Smith (right) started the tour off with a short presentation about MATES and how each of them started their careers with the military after graduating from Grayling High. They each spoke about how their careers have evolved and the skills they have learned at no cost through their service work.
Students had a great time exploring the training equipment during their tour of MATES. The tour included many different aspects of maintaining the military equipment, and how the parts were stored and accounted for in the parts department. Students saw the large yard area where military equipment from other states and countries are stored for when they’re needed for military exercises. MATES staff were eager to show students the equipment they were working on and the customized fabrication and welding they perform to keep equipment running in top shape.
There were several areas in MATES in addition to vehicle and equipment maintenance that were explored. Digital repair manuals are used for repair and maintenance work and staff was able to show how each repair, and the part(s) needed was referenced via an electronic manual. Students asked several questions in this area.
Other areas the students were exposed to were drones, logistics and scheduling. The tour ended with a wrap up session that included more questions and answers. The tour was exciting for the students and they learned a lot about MATES and what the facility has to offer.
Next, the students toured Kirtland Community College. The tour kicked off with a presentation from Kirtland’s Admissions Coordinator, Cesalee Kuffel. Cesalee gave a brief overview of the programs available and finanicial aid opportunities. Students were given a packet of information about Kirtland and their registration process.
Students visited the health sciences departments and learned of the different fields of study which can lead to high paying careers. The gaming department was a hit with the students. They loved seeing and learning about the latest technology in video gaming. They asked several questions about careers in this industry. Students had the opportunity to visit the wood sciences lab and saw a demonstration of an image being engraved into a block of wood. They were very interested in seeing all the high-tech machinery and what it is capable of doing. The tour also included a look at the cosmetology department and learning about the program, and also about the different careers within cosmetology including manicurist. Other areas toured were automotive and the police academy.
The final tour of the day was at Lear Corp. in Roscommon. Four senior staff members at Lear divided the students into groups and showed them the production floor where the company is responsible for stamping, welding, painting and assembly utilizing unique, cutting-edge technologies like robotic laser welding for the manufacturing of automotive parts and seating. Lear works with the Michigan Works! program, recruits at the local and county level, and has developed a DOL-accredited apprenticeship program to help prepare workers for where the industry is heading.
The tour included discussions with staff members and students on how an entry level job can lead to a lucrative career at Lear with good work ethics and a willingness to learn the business. The many areas toured showed Lear’s advanced manufacturing capabilities with high-tech stamping and robotics.