High school students will tour manufacturers Feb. 19

17 Feb 2016 7:34 AM | Shelly Glandon (Administrator)

As part of the Pima County Youth Career Connect industrial technologies project, high school students will get an up close look Friday, Feb. 19, at area manufacturers who produce parts for everything from airplanes and engines to zoo enclosures, thanks to tours organized by Southern Arizona Manufacturing Partners (SAMP) and ARIZONA@WORK Pima County, formerly known as the Pima County One-Stop Career Center.

The SAMP program is in its fourth year and student interest continues to grow. This year, nearly 180 students from the Sunnyside and Tucson Unified School Districts who are part of Pima County’s Joint Technical Education District (JTED) will tour 13 manufacturers as well as Pima Community College’s machine shop and the University of Arizona Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering Department. The effort is meant to introduce students to Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) careers and occupations within industrial technologies.

The goal is that students who take part in the tours will enroll in STEM career pathways including machining courses at their high school. Manufacturers believe the tours are an important step in “on-shoring” – the move to keep more machining jobs in the United States instead of “off-shore.” 

“On-shoring” is a trend that will continue for U.S. manufacturers and it is vital to the U.S. economy that high school students interested in manufacturing and/or machining careers are encouraged to pursue these highly skilled positions,” said Bret Simon, vice president of operations for PSE Archery in Tucson. “Machining positions in particular are in high demand domestically and the demand will grow as U.S. manufacturing companies recognize the quality and lead time advantages offered by building long-term capacity. The need is critical in Tucson and across the county, today and well into the


SAMP is a consortium that comprises 32 Southern Arizona manufacturing companies throughout Pima County. The group came together in 2012 with a goal to establish a pipeline of students ready to enter the field and started by revamping the training at Pima Community College. Students finish the program with a Machine Tool Certification from Pima Community College.

Students will be split into groups of about 10 to tour one of the 13 manufacturers taking part in the Feb. 19 field trip.

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