Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Students Tour GTI to Learn About Manufacturing

Bryan Adams, Assembly Manager gave students a tour of GTI
Students participating in the Switching Gears Summer Youth Program through the Darke County Board of Developmental Disabilities (Darke DD) toured Greenville Technology, Inc. (GTI). Their focus was to learn about manufacturing as an industry that offers a variety of job opportunities.

Bryan Adams, Assembly Manager, gave an overview of the factory and highlighted the many departments and jobs within the company. He led the students through the facility and suggested that as learned about the different jobs, they consider their future for schooling and/or the different skills they would need for that particular job. When one student asked what skills are important to work at GTI, Adams said that it is very important to be dependable, have good math skills, and have a good attitude. He continued by saying that attitude is very important in a job - the way you interact with your team members can have a big effect on overall job satisfaction.

Over the five-week program, students will tour businesses that highlight industries specific to our area (retail, manufacturing, agriculture, health care and food service). Through these experiences, students can begin to gather information and start to form opinions as to what interests them. One student said the GTI tour was helpful because it made him realize that he really would like to work in a factory, he especially liked the robotics. One girl had a completely different response, stating…. “I’m not a factory girl!” These insights can help them develop their areas of interests to focus on through their remaining years in high school. Darke DD provides transition services to coordinate between school, home and job-readiness training to help students develop a post-graduation plan.

This week the kids also got to hear from Lauren Warner, a young lady who has worked at Village Green Health Campus for the past six months. Darke DD Community First Department helped Lauren interview for and secure her job as a dietary aide in the food service department. An Employment Specialist helped her learn her job duties, become acclimated to the facility and get to know her co-workers. After six short weeks, Lauren was able to do the work on her own and has been a valued employee for the organization. She has made great friends at The Village Green; she feels very much a part of the team and says she absolutely loves her job.

Lauren graduated from Tri-Village high school in 2013 and had some good words of advice for the students. She said it is important to be on time, follow rules, show respect to others, listen to your teachers and have a great attitude. She summed it up best by saying that she tries to have a positive attitude at all times, “…being in the community and having a job where I can help others is what I have always wanted to do, I always try to do my best and be nice to others……being positive is powerful!”

Students spent time in the classroom at Edison Community College working on activities for career exploration. These included career assessments, job searches, and interests/abilities inventories – all contributors in building a solid foundation for considering what they may want to do after high school. Some may want to go straight into employment, while others may want to continue with training or education to learn a skill and/or obtain a degree. Darke DD coordinates services to assist individuals with disabilities in each of these areas.

Darke DD serves over 450 individuals with disabilities in various areas, including case management, transition, finding jobs, volunteering, and becoming more involved in community events. If you would like to learn more about our programs, contact Rodney Willis, Community First Director at 548-9057 or rodneyw@darkedd.org

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