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Henderson Economic Development Hosts Manufacturing Academy for Students in October

Five manufacturers will open their doors to approximately 100 students to tour their facilities.





Kate Pride


Henderson Economic Development Hosts Manufacturing Academy for Students in October

Five manufacturers will open their doors to approximately 100 students to tour their facilities.

Henderson, Ky. (October 18, 2023) – In collaboration with Henderson County Schools and existing industries, Henderson Economic Development (HED) is hosting Manufacturing Academy for Students to celebrate Manufacturing Month. Throughout October, approximately 100 Henderson County High School Career and Technical Education (CTE) students will tour Gibbs Die Casting, Allstate Tower, Pittsburg Tank and Tower, Audubon Metals, and International Paper.

The purpose is to provide students with a unique workforce development opportunity connecting the classroom to the workplace. Students will spend time in a workplace to learn about trends, skill requirements, and opportunities in industries to bring relevance to classroom learning.

As participants enter the facilities, their focus is to observe basic skills, academic skills and learning used in the workplace. Students will get a better understanding of the level of complexity of the tasks performed at the worksite.

Building the bridge between skills-based and knowledge-based education promotes the goal of preparing students for college and careers. “On the ground” observation allows students to learn about career trends that will affect their future as they transition into the workforce after graduation.

In Henderson, 4,667 people are employed in manufacturing, making an average salary of $69,572 per year. This industry offers numerous pathways to success, with the potential for high pay and a lifelong career. Opportunities consist of robotics, welding, engineering, machine operators, administrators, and more. The key is bringing awareness to careers in the workforce.

Several rounds of tours at various times and locations will be held during the month of October. The first tour is October 18th from 9:00am – 10:45am. The second round is October 25 from 8:45am – 1:30pm. The third round is November 1 from 8:45am-1:30pm. If you are interested in covering tours, call Kate Pride at (270) 860-8288. She will assign you an existing industry that corresponds with your selected time.

President and CEO of Gibbs Die Casting, Greg Risch, said he is excited to showcase hometown manufacturing opportunities to students.

“Exploring manufacturing in your hometown is more than identifying a potential job opportunity. It’s like getting your eyes opened to the world class facilities, processes, and people in your community. And it is in your own backyard,” Risch said.

Henderson County High School CTE Career Coach, Steve Welch, explained the importance of introducing students to local workforce opportunities.

“In partnership with Henderson Economic Development and local industry, nearly 100 HCHS CTE students in program areas including Construction, Manufacturing tech, Pre-Engineering and Welding have the opportunity to participate in Manufacturing Academy for Students annually during Manufacturing Month,” Welch said. “These tours are an eye-opening experience for our students, giving them a practical understanding of the career paths and high-paying local job opportunities in their fields of interest. It also serves as a great motivational tool for students to excel in their program area and helps prepare them for high demand jobs at local industries after high school.”

Director of Workforce Development and Existing Industries at HED, Whitney Risley, said allowing students to see inside manufacturing facilities gives them a better understanding of career opportunities in their area of interest.

“As students determine their pathway for a career, we felt it was extremely important for them to see firsthand the skills needed for a career in manufacturing.  We also want individuals to know that Henderson has a wide range of career opportunities available ranging from entry level (HS diploma or GED) to years of experience and/or degrees,” Risley said. “The existing industries are ready to show off the products they make and career opportunities in Henderson!”


Henderson Economic Development – Facilitating economic development and job growth in Henderson, KY.  For more information visit,  or call 270.854.9455.