Teens explore manufacturing careers at unique fair

Students study a carpenter’s plan.

Y-12 and trades councils encourage youth to consider skilled employment

OAK RIDGE, Tenn. – Hammers, paint sprayers and circuit boards replaced notebooks, pencils and erasers for one day at Boys & Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley. At a recent career fair, students were able to explore these tools of the trade and ask questions.

Y-12 employees and members of the Atomic Trades and Labor Council and the Knoxville Building and Construction Trades Council interacted with the students. This outreach is focused on inspiring future workers, and is sponsored by Consolidated Nuclear Security, LLC, which manages Y-12 National Security Complex.

Students investigate apprenticeship options

Students from Anderson, Blount, Knox and Loudon counties interacted with electricians, carpenters, insulators, painters, and machinists. A scavenger hunt encouraged the students to explore each booth and ask questions, including the level of education/training required, skills used and salary.

Y-12 painter John Stone shows two students a paint sprayer

The goal was to introduce students to potential career paths. ATLC President Mike Thompson talked about how career plans shift and encouraged them to explore multiple career options. He also informed them that apprentices “earn while they learn,” allowing them to start careers debt free.

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