07-Aug-2017 Bowling Green, KY
Henkel ‘schools’ educators on industry
While their students savored summer, a group of Kentucky educators took a field trip to Henkel’s Bowling Green, Kentucky facility. The outing offered a first-hand look at work life at Henkel — and lessons to help students land a job.
These “educator externships” are part of SCK LAUNCH, a collaborative effort between the Chamber of Commerce and local and county school districts. The program also includes a yearly job fair for 8th graders and job shadowing for older students.
“The goal of the externship is to bring teachers in and let them see what we do for themselves — and then bring information back to their students about what we do,” says Bryan Thompson, Manufacturing Engineering Manager. The program included an overview of employment requirements, the interview process and a tour of the areas where laundry products and dish soap are manufactured. Agriculture teacher Ed Hendrick appreciated the chance to peek beyond the production line. “Observing parts of the business other than just line workers allows me to discuss with students the skills needed in various roles and opportunities for advancement,” says Hendrick. “Looking into the industrial maintenance shop helps me know what to focus on in my curriculum.”
The tour dispelled some myths about manufacturing. “The teachers were surprised at how calm, cool and quiet it is here. They were also intrigued by the technology and our ability to run massive equipment so precisely,” says Thompson. “The Chamber and the County schools are doing a great thing, and we wanted to be part of that. We want young people to know that Henkel has a lot to offer.”