“The local company leadership toured the repair technician area, spoke with staff and provided information on how to operate the facility,” explained Amanda Robado, Vice President of Economic Development at Aspire. “They gave the students a background about the company, what the facility does and the types of tools they repair. Several of the employees gave interviews on camera and talked about what they do, how they got there, the company culture and the training they receive.”
Robado said the virtual field trip was the latest in a series of Aspire efforts in the K-12 Workforce Pipeline Initiative, noting that “it allows us to creatively bring our companies into the classroom.”
She added, “It gives students the opportunity to get into work they wouldn’t normally see, ask questions to employees, and get a better idea of what jobs are available in their own backyard.”
The class was led by Madeleine C. Waters, head of business at the school, who noted that “virtual tours gave my students the opportunity to learn about local employers, the different jobs they hire for as well as the opportunity to see a facility, allowing them to visualize themselves in that work environment. If we wanted For our students to be successful in life after high school, we must help them give them a vision of what a post-secondary/post-college experience will look like, and the virtual tours helped make that happen.”
“From a company and employment perspective, taking virtual tours puts you on the map when it comes to building a pool of candidates,” Waters added. “My students will always remember their last virtual tour with the Milwaukee Tool as the employees they met seemed to really love their jobs – and it had an effect my students would remember when applying for jobs.”
The tour was led by plant manager Anna McDermott, who also helped organize the visit. “It’s important that we reach out to high school students because we want to change the perception of production jobs and let them know that joining the workforce right after high school is another great path they should consider.”
“At Milwaukee, we value our employees with competitive wages and benefits, an unparalleled culture, a brand-new facility, a full on-site fitness center, educational assistance if they choose to go to college, and more. Most high school graduates don’t always know what they want to do after graduation (including them me!). This option is a great first step to help figure this out while still getting a decent, well-paying job without having to take on any student loan debt.”
Why is Aspire doing this? “These virtual field trips are just another opportunity for our companies to stand up to students to showcase the types of jobs available,” Robado replied. “We are always looking for creative ways to connect our Johnson County business to the future workforce, and the default option allows us to bypass some of the logistical challenges that can come with a site field trip. We will continue to curate personal choices as well, but this is another device in our pipeline toolbox. Our workforce. She added that a large part of Aspire’s five-year strategic economic development plan is preparing and strengthening the workforce that will remain in Johnson County at all levels.
“Aspire will continue to host these types of Zoom field trips at as many companies as desire and available class time,” Robado concluded. People interested in having their company participate in a Zoom field trip can contact her at [email protected] or 317-537-0037.