GLOW With Your Hands: Manufacturing hosted its largest turnout of students and vendors for the annual career exploration event. Over 1,100 students from 30 school districts across the GLOW region arrived at the Genesee County Fairgrounds to attend the day-long, hands-on program, including over 65 organizations from the advanced manufacturing, agriculture, food production, and skilled trades sectors.
GLOW With Your Hands introduces students from school districts in Genesee, Livingston, Orleans, and Wyoming Counties to employers across the region who are ready to engage with the new generation of talented workers and leaders.
For Jack Frazier from Warsaw High School, these introductions included welding, electric linework, and operating a crane.
“It is really cool that all of these businesses come out and interact with us for the whole day. We get to see equipment that is used day-to-day, I learned about so many careers and skills that I was not aware of before today,” Jack added.
Exhibitors from advanced manufacturing, agriculture, food production, skilled trades, and education/training sectors attended the event to showcase accurate representations of their day-to-day duties performed within their specific industry and company. The event welcomes students preparing to enter the workforce after this school year and those who will be considering career paths in high school over the next five years.
“As a result of the hard work and planning of local workforce advocates, event exhibitors and volunteers, and our sponsoring partners, students across the region are learning more about the good-paying and debt-free careers available to them immediately upon graduating from high school,” said GLOW With Your Hands Co-Founders Chris Suozzi and Jay Lazarony. “This gives them the awareness of what skills are needed and the ability they have to succeed across many industries.”
Led by Platinum Sponsors LandPro Equipment and National Grid, many businesses have participated in every GLOW With Your Hands since 2019, including manufacturers like Advanced Rubber Products and Liberty Pumps, food producers like Barilla and O-AT-KA Milk Products, construction businesses like LG Evans and Genesee Construction, and skilled trades organizations like Bricklayers & Allied Craftworkers Local 3 and North Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters.
Plastic card manufacturer Bristol ID Technologies of Lima attended the event for the first time. Their exhibit created personalized ID cards for participants throughout the day-long event while educating them on processes and opportunities available at their Livingston County location.
“It’s incumbent that businesses go out and share what they need and what they can offer to the next generation of their workforce,” said Edward Schroeder, Bristol ID Technologies Operations Director. “GLOW With Your Hands allows us to demonstrate to students what a career at our company looks and feels like. It’s a great way to introduce our company to potential workers.”
After launching in 2019 with 800 students, GLOW With Your Hands has grown into the premier workforce development program in the region. Including GLOW With Your Hands: Healthcare, a hands-on medical careers program held annually in March, more than 1,600 students participated in the 2022-23 school year.
“Our annually increasing participation at GLOW With Your Hands is a credit to the full engagement of our schools and the students excited to gain a hands-on view of career opportunities that they may have never contemplated,” said GLOW With Your Hands Co-Chair Angela Grouse. “Many of these careers can be successfully launched with our region’s robust training programs and deliver family-sustaining wages and benefits along with rewarding lifestyles.”
For Haley from Pavilion High School, GLOW With Your Hands was an opportunity to embrace hands-on careers available in the community.
“It is awesome to step out of our comfort zones, experience new careers, and embrace active, hands-on skills that are used outside of a desk job. It is a great way to discover jobs that are offered here in our community,” added Haley.
For more information about GLOW With Your Hands and careers in the GLOW Region, please visit www.glowwithyourhands.com.
Photos by Steve Ognibene.