Submitted by Maura Howl, Manatee Technical College:
Dr. Anita Rose from the Small Business Development Center at USF, Paulo Reis from PGT Industries, Peter Straw from the Sarasota-Manatee Area Manufacturers Association, and Brian Winchell of SAK Enterprises spoke to an audience of over 400 students at Manatee Technical College on Manufacturing Day. According to Straw, “Over 10,000 people are employed in manufacturing in our area, and over 80% of our manufacturing is done by companies with fewer than 20 employees. This means lots of opportunity for entrepreneurship.” Students will have an opportunity to do just that with a new MTC initiative called Barracuda Business. The SBDC offered to help students with business plans.
Paulo Reis, director of glass operations for PGT Industries, was one of the guest speakers from the manufacturing arena to address Manatee Technical College students on Manufacturing Day. Reis told the students how happy he was to be talking with them, as he went to a vocational high school and technical college. Reis told the students he looks for aces, “When I hire someone, I can tell in five minutes whether they’re an ace. I’m looking for someone with a great attitude, who’s a team player and can communicate well with coworkers. You are learning the skill set at MTC. When it comes to being an ace, you control your destiny.”
Feld Entertainment parked “Grave Digger,” a Monster Jam Truck, in front of Manatee Technical College on Manufacturing Day. Representatives of Feld spoke to over 400 students about the many job opportunities at Feld. Students learned about opportunities in fields ranging from auto and electronics technicians, electricians, welders and machinists to drafters, administrative office specialists and cosmetologists.