Engineering students from Wheatland-Chili High School’s project Lead the Way visited CooperVision’s Scottsville manufacturing facility on May 4 during Small Business Week. Students toured the facility, learned about manufacturing operations, packaging and distribution, and the engineering skills needed to work in the contact lens industry. Students also had the opportunity to speak with staff about careers in engineering.
The CooperVision Scottsville manufacturing site partners with the Wheatland-Chili school district to provide educational field experiences for students through occasional site visits.
Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo was so impressed by the partnership that she personally presented a Certificate of Appreciation to Bob Ooyama, CooperVision Director of Engineering.
“It’s exciting to be able to share what we do with local students and help them see how their coursework might be applied later in life,” says Tricia Wittreich, Scottsville Plant Manager. “Our goal is to help create a passion for manufacturing and engineering in the next generation.”
Employees who volunteered to participate said it was uplifting to hear the County Executive passionately address the students about the benefits of the educational system and local economy, and to witness the students’ eager curiosity to explore careers in engineering. Students asked detailed questions at each stop on the tour on everything from cast molding and automation to packaging and distribution.
“Showing these students the inside of a highly technical manufacturing facility in their hometown could help them make pivotal decisions involving their career path,” explains Toni Zeiser, Senior Manager of Human Resources. “Their enthusiasm was inspiring.”