TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) – Several area high school students interested in the engineering and technology sector had the opportunity to interact, network and explore the technology sector as several local companies were at Washburn University looking to recruit students.
On Thursday morning, Washburn University hosted its “Made for Manufacturing” event so industry professionals can come together and get students to consider engineering and technology. About 18 manufacturing companies have signed up, including the Topeka company, Frito Lay.
Go Topeka has partnered with Washburn Tech and the Greater Topeka Partnership to organize this networking event. Trina Goss, director of entrepreneurial and talent initiatives at Go Topeka, said students were given passports with a list of questions to ask and space to jot down contact information. She said the passports are meant to encourage students to interact and help them practice networking.
“We’ve provided students with a passport with a list of questions and a space to write in the contact information, so we’re really encouraging interaction from both sides and it’s great for students to have that one-on-one contact with the company,” said Goss .
Another goal behind this event is to inspire young people to join a rapidly growing industry.
“Manufacturing is a growth industry, and it’s one that will never go away,” said Goss. “It is the backbone of everything we do and without it we would have nothing. So, the workforce pipeline needs to continue to grow and reach young people, because people are constantly retiring, leaving the workforce, so we need young people to enter the workforce and be ready to fill those roles.
David Sadler, a high school senior, was one of the students at the event exploring the tech sector and found the experience worthwhile.
“I never really knew what I was going to do, but there are so many things I could be doing, and it’s really opening things up, and now I have things I might want to be doing,” Sadler said. “It’s really a good experience.”