Technology class tours manufacturing plants.
A group of students interested in technology got a chance to see what goes on at three Ormond Beach manufacturing plants on Oct. 31. The tour for students in the Academy of Information Technology and Robotics at Spruce Creek High School was organized by Norman Lane, owner of Rotomation Inc., 11 Sunshine Blvd.
“So many kids never see the inside of a manufacturing plant, and have no idea of what we make here,” Lane said before the tour. He has volunteered as a mentor in the AITR program at the school for eight years.
The other companies on the tour were Teledyne Oil and Gas, 1026 N. Williamson Blvd.; and Hudson Technology, 1327 N. U.S. 1, all members of Volusia Manufacturing Association.
Teledyne makes marine products for energy exploration and Hudson makes a variety of metal parts that are used by other manufacturers to build an end product. Rotomation makes rotary actuators, used by manufacturers around the world in their assembly processes.
Lane said people are surprised how much manufacturing there is in Ormond Beach.
“They see the road going into the business park but don’t realize there are hundreds of people in here making things that go all over the world,” he said.
The entrance to Ormond Beach Business Park is on Airport Road.
Manufacturing provides jobs with good pay and benefits that also are challenging because they require problem solving, Lane said.
Some of the students on tour expressed the opinion that they want jobs that require working with their hands.
“I do not want a job where you just sit all day,” said Tyler Maxell, of Ormond Beach.
Brendan Willett, of South Daytona, agreed, saying he’d rather be a mechanic than an engineer.
On the tours, the students learned the variety of jobs in manufacturing, including engineering, machinist, tool and die, etc.
Kimberly Stears, teacher in the AITR academy, said they want students to realize there are many jobs where a college degree is not necessary. Good jobs can be obtained with a certificate from Advanced Technology College in Daytona Beach, for example.
Christina Chandradat, of Hudson Technology, said the students learn about the companies on the tour, but the companies also learn about future workers.
“These are the people we could be hiring,” she said.
She said the students were interested to find that many of the things they make turn up in products they use every day, such as automobiles.
In January, robot season starts. Lane will help the Spruce Creek students to build a robot. For the past three years, the class has gone to the national championship in Houston, after winning regional competitions.
“Next year we’re going to win the national,” Spears said.
Lane said they have been having the tours since 2014 to show students how and why the products are made.
“Maybe they will choose manufacture as a career,” he said. “We want to expose them to the trades and engineering. One of the missions of VMA is to develop a workforce locally.”
“They see the road going into the business park but don’t realize there are hundreds of people in here making things that go all over the world.”
NORMAN LANE, Rotomation Inc.