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Technology students produce video

| Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012, 10:13 p.m.
Greater Latrobe sophomore Cheyenne Uncapher demonstrates a welding simulator during a joint area board meeting at the Eastern Westmoreland Career and Technology Center in Derry. A video, produced by students at the tech center promoting industrial manufacuring in the area, was debuted at the meeting. Guy Wathen | Tribune-Review photo taken by Guy Wathen near Latrobe on December 5, 2012.

Officials at the Eastern Westmoreland Career and Technology Center in Derry unveiled a new project at a recent board meeting that has been in the works for the last year – a student-filmed and produced video dedicated to introducing the public, and in particular the youth, to opportunities in the field of manufacturing in the area.

One of the students who participated in the filming of the video was 2012 Ligonier Valley High School graduate Madelyn Horrell, 19, of Ligonier.

“It was neat to see how products were made in the industry,” said Horrell, “I enjoyed helping with the video. It was a nice experience.”

Horrell said her experience at the career and technology center was a positive one. “It's a great school to attend if you learn better being hands on, as I do. There are lots of opportunities and the teachers are great. I hope the video helps bring more kids into the school,” Horrell said.

The video features six local manufacturing companies and includes narration by local spokesman and celebrity Arnold Palmer. Aggressive Grinding Service Inc in Latrobe; Classic Industries Inc in Latrobe; Tace Industries in Loyalhanna; Carpenter Latrobe Specialty Metals in Latrobe; Kennametal in Latrobe and TSI Titanium in Derry welcomed the students into their facilities to film the recruitment video that will eventually be show in Ligonier Valley, Latrobe and Derry Area School Districts.

“The longtime impression of manufacturing jobs is a dark, grimy and loud environment and that's just not the case anymore,” said Christine Oldham, superintendent of Ligonier Valley School District.

The “Latrobe Chamber of Commerce Industrial Consortium Manufacturing Video” was introduced to 18 chamber and school board members and was well received, said Lisa Newhouse, cooperative education coordinator at the technology center.

“We can't wait to launch it in the school districts,” said Newhouse, “We want students and their parents to be aware of all the possibilities in manufacturing right here in our area.”

The industrial manufacturing video will assist the Latrobe chamber in their aim to assist local employers in ‘preserving current employment levels and creating new opportunities for job growth by encouraging students to become aware of the skills required for employment', which is listed on the chamber's website as one of their 2012 priorities.

“The video is fantastic,” said Irma Hutchinson, of Ligonier, president of the board of joint operating committee and Ligonier Valley School District board member, “It's important for kids to know they can get a good, high paying manufacturing job right here in our area. Manufacturing is very broad these days and includes high technology.”

Hutchinson said that she would love to see videos created for the other programs offered at the center.

“The tech center of today is very different from what it was in the past. There is a need to market the facility to the parents of today's students so they can see the difference,” said Hutchinson.

Oldham said Ligonier Valley School District has the highest percentage of high school students attending a tech center in Westmoreland County, with 13 of all 10th-, 11th- and 12th- graders participating in programs at the school.

“The students did an amazing job with the video,” said Oldham, “It looked professional and was very well thought out. I was very impressed.”

Oldham hopes to make the video accessible via Ligonier Valley School District's website, so that students can view it with their parents.

Cami DiBattista is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.