Manufacturing Boot Camp Launches in IRC


In partnership with the Indian River County School District and CareerSource Research Coast (CSRC), the Indian River County Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Office has launched its first Manufacturing Boot Camp program. The Boot Camp week will run May 20-24, from 8am to 4pm each day and is free to all high school seniors in Indian River County.  Each day will begin and end at the Treasure Coast Technical College in Gifford.

The program introduces high school seniors to the manufacturing industry, providing an opportunity for students who are not college-bound to explore potential careers in this exciting and diverse industry sector. Students will tour local facilities each day, talking with owners and plant managers about the skills needed to operate machinery plus what it’s like working as a “team player” in this type of environment.  A total of 11 plant visits are scheduled:  Triton Submarines, Dragonfly Boatworks, Girard Equipment, Float-On Boat Trailers, M.A. Ford, Nylacarb, Aluma Tower, Fibealumn, United Juice, CVS distribution facility, and Piper Aircraft.

Working closely with the School District and its Treasure Coast Technical College, the Economic Development Office scheduled tours of local manufacturers for Guidance and Graduation Counselors in all three high school plus several middle schools. The tours gave Counselors a better understanding of today’s manufacturing world so they could relay this to their students.  The school Counselors were instrumental in selecting potential student participants.

Employers in our region were concerned about a growing Skills Gap in our workforce. To address the challenge, this program was developed to focus on training and building a “pipeline” of future workers. It is based on the successful program in St. Lucie County.

The Indian River County Manufacturing Boot Camp is privately-funded. Any special equipment or safety attire needed during the tour will be provided to each student as needed, plus all students will receive Boot Camp t-shirts. Transportation to and from the manufacturing locations, and lunch, are also provided each day.

Special “hands-on” sessions will be held daily at the Treasure Coast Technical College. Introductions to virtual welding and Certified Production Technician skills, plus soft skills such as communication, interviewing, how to be a good employee and financial literacy are all part of the week-long program.

Special thanks to Boys & Girls Club of Indian River County, Gifford Youth Achievement Center, Manpower, National Bank of Commerce and our many employers who are hosting students during the Boot Camp week.

For more information on the program, call Helene Caseltine at the Indian River County Chamber of Commerce, 772-567-3491.

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