Dozens of students tour Mt. Vernon factories - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Dozens of students tour Mt. Vernon factories

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JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ill. -- More than 150 students and teachers from throughout Jefferson County toured factories in Mt. Vernon for Manufacturing Day. It's the second year for the event, which is meant to change young people's perception about what it's like to work in a factory. 

One of the factories that offered tours is Phoenix Modular. A group of 30 Waltonville High school students were able to see how the company makes its elevators, step by step. 

Employees explained material preparation, assembly and the final mechanical touches. The tour ended by showing students the business side of things like the supply chain. The department piqued the interest of senior Elizabeth Kiselewski. 

"I liked how she had said that they are involved in pretty much all of it," Kiselewski explains. "Getting the products here and then when they leave." 

Waltonville teacher Tifanie Schmale says the tour is an opportunity she didn't want to pass up, "Our business and marketing classes ties right into this. I wanted kids to see that business isn't just wearing a suit to work with a briefcase."

National Fabricating, a division of National Railway, which makes locomotives is another stop on the tour. The company's guide stressed the importance of breaking the perception that factory work is a man's only job. He showed how women's motor skills are beneficial for wiring. 

Woodlawn High School had at least 25 agriculture, mechanics and technology students walk through National Fabricating. Teacher Sarah Morgan says it gave them a chance to see job opportunities right in their own backyard, "College isn’t for everyone so this is showing them some careers that they can go into and still advance." 

Students also toured InnoTech Manufacturing, Magnum Steel Works, PPG Industries, Schulte Industries, and Continental Tire. 

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