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Successful Launch of Chamber’s Industry Day for Teachers

In November, nine local teachers participated in the first annual Industry Day for Teachers hosted by the Chamber. These educators spent the day at Daikin America, Inc. and Mazda Toyota Manufacturing, U.S.A., Inc. The day included orientation, safety training and shadowing opportunities for teachers to gain insights to help guide their students toward local career opportunities. This initiative strengthens the link between education and industry, benefiting our community's future workforce.

On November 28, Mazda Toyota Manufacturing welcomed five teachers from Decatur City Schools at their Madison facility. The educators started the day at MTM’s Training and Assessment Center to get an inside look at the candidate experience, as well as the new hire fundamental skills training process.

“They have this whole area set up sort of like a mock job site where they let the candidates actually perform the duties and make sure that they can do all the things required for the job that they are applying for” said Austin Middle School teacher Alicia McBrayer. “After they get hired, then they go through training there before they are ever released to the work floor. I really liked the support that Mazda Toyota offered.”

Educators then got to put their boots on and tour MTM’s Assembly and Quality shops, where they saw vehicle production in action. These teachers were able to explore the many opportunities that exist in the automotive manufacturing industry for their students after graduating high school.

“It was good for me to see because it allows me to see what my students need. A lot of the soft skills that they need can be taught regardless of the subject or age you teach,” said Alicia.

Daikin America, Inc. hosted four teachers from Morgan County Schools at their facility in Decatur on November 29. In the morning, the teachers were given an overview of the Decatur plant operation, the basic chemistry behind their products and the applications that their products go into.  The teachers then went through a one-hour, high-level safety orientation where the basics of chemical plant safety were introduced. They finished the morning with a presentation from every non-operations department at the plant who described their basic functions and the type of educational background that is required for each.  After lunch, the group received a plant tour and discussed co-op opportunities, emphasizing programs for chemical plant operators and engineers.

“It was a great experience,” said Greg Hudson, a teacher at Brewer High School and Morgan County Tech Park. “Safety was the number one thing that they talked about more than anything else."

On December 15, the Chamber held a breakfast for the teachers to share their experiences and ways we can continue to improve the program. The success of this Industry Day for Teachers wouldn't have been possible without the generous support of our sponsors:  presenting sponsor Mazda Toyota Manufacturing, U.S.A., Inc., gold sponsor 3M and silver sponsors Decatur Morgan County Tourism, GE Appliances, a Haier company, LPL Financial - Dewayne Eddy, Redstone Federal Credit Union and Shawn D. Garth, Realtor.




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