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Manufacturing Month Continues With More School Tours and Opportunities for Alachua County Students

Manufacturing Month Continues With More School Tours and Opportunities for Alachua County Students

The Gainesville region kicked off Manufacturing Month on October 1 with a round of school tours designed for Alachua County middle school students. More than 60 middle school students from Mebane, Lincoln, and Howard Bishop middle schools visited six manufacturers around region.  One week later, those tours continued with 60 high school students from Santa Fe, Eastside, and Loften high schools visiting six manufacturing facilities in the Greater Gainesville region.


Part of a coordinated effort between the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce’s Advanced Manufacturing Council and the Alachua County School Board, these tours are designed to expose students to a wide variety of jobs they may not have known existed beforehand. For example, in-between hands-on lab experiments and viewing different types of equipment, tour guides explained the different career opportunities available at their respective plants, such as quality control and mechanical technicians, chemists and engineers.

Regional manufacturers providing tours included Goodwin, Sinmat, RTI Surgical, Halcyon Dive Systems, Fracture and Phalanx Defense Systems, among others.

The partnership between the Gainesville Chamber and School District serves the dual purpose of getting students excited about a new career opportunity and providing our region’s manufacturers with the future workforce necessary for continued growth. Student surveys reflected a common theme that these tours were eye-opening and that students may consider a career in manufacturing. According to Alachua County School Board Superintendent Owen Roberts, early exposure to engineering and manufacturing job paths is essential.

“The School Board oversees career and technical education and magnet programs to align our students’ educational needs and opportunities today with the needs of the industries” said Roberts.

For more information on Manufacturing Month and facility tours, contact Staci Bertrand, Director of Industry Development at or 352-334-7135.

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