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ITAC's 3rd annual Manufacturing & Technology Camp was a success! 

-Written by Polly Ellmore

Industrial TurnAround Corporation (ITAC) hosted the 3rd Annual Dream It Do It Manufacturing Technology Camp for area high school youth July 29 – August 1 at its facility at 13141 Enon Church Road, Chester. The camp is sponsored by area manufacturers, the Hopewell/Prince George Chamber, and school systems in the City of Hopewell and the counties of Prince George and Dinwiddie,Virginia.

“The camp, one of seven in the state, provides a free hands-on learning opportunity for rising 9th, 10th, and 11th graders,” says Rachel Pest, project manager at ITAC. “Attendees will learn how technology is applied in manufacturing and skilled trades through field trips and through the curriculum they will learn about career paths to these jobs.”

Students had an opportunity to win a scholarship to a post-secondary educational institution.  Scholarship funds are made possible by area manufacturers such as DuPont Teijin Films, Service Center Metals, GDF Suez – Hopewell Cogeneration, Gerdau, and others.

The Hopewell Manufacturers Association is a principle benefactor of the machining equipment and software for the program.

Becky McDonough, CEO of the HPG Chamber of Commerce, says, “This camp is an eye opener for students as it provides an education on the manufacturing process from raw materials to finished goods in a team environment.  It connects what the students learn in math, science, technology, engineering, marketing, business classes to the real world in our region.”

Several of the camp sponsors have been in the news recently for new investment, expansion, and renovation. They include Ashland, Service Center Metals, Honeywell, and WestRock.

 “What’s not immediately apparent to those who do not work in the manufacturing and skilled trades sector is that manufacturing has evolved into a more technology intensive sector and offers new opportunities and challenges. Another factor that is not evident is the competitive pay and benefits for these jobs,” says Pam Allen of Accel Talent and Development Group, who spent many years in HR in this sector before starting her own firm. “Manufacturing has again been identified by the National Association of Colleges and Employers for being a top paying industry for class of 2015 graduates.  Southside Virginia, Tri-Cities offers opportunities for those interested in this career pathway.”

The blue team was victorious! 

Members of the winning team were Kevin Gallager of Atlee,Zary Vazquez of Prince George, Nicholas Daniel of Dinwiddie, Samuel Childress of Dinwiddie, Brianna Brown of Prince George, Kyah Yeager of Hopewell and Camille Tucker of Dinwiddie. Each student received a $500 scholarship. The coaches of the blue team were Jackie Lee of Rolls Royce and Christal Bacon of Virginia State University. 

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