Jesse Pate, 17, and Shabo Bishabo, 18, both seniors at Sterling Heights High School in the Warren Consolidated Schools in Warren, MI, admit classroom work really isn't for them.
They are doers who like to work with their hands.
Macomb County's annual Manufacturing Day is made for students like them who may not be interested in a post-secondary four-year degree but would excel in industrial or skilled trades careers.
Students from Stevenson High School in the Utica Community Schools District and those from the Warren Career Prep Center, part of the Warren Consolidated Schools, participated in the fifth annual Manufacturing Day at the FCA US Warren Truck Assembly Plan in Warren on Oct. 5. The program is part of a national campaign designed to create awareness about the economic importance of industry and the interesting, well-paying jobs it provides. Since 2014, more than 7,000 students have participated in Macomb County's program. This year, 82 tours were given by 72 host companies to 2,400 students from 28 Macomb Intermediate School District schools. It is the largest Manufacturing Day yet in the county.
"I didn’t really know what to expect, but there are lots of robots and machines, more than you would think there would be, and there’s a lot more jobs, and it’s a lot bigger than you would expect," Pate said.
Both teens are interested in auto collision repair---body repair for Bishabo and structure and frame repair and welding for Pate. Both envision a career in the trades. Bishabo said he prefers to find work sooner than the time and cost that a four-year degree would require. Pate is still considering a four-year university, but said he probably will pursue a different direction.
"Most kids think they have to go to college to make a good living. [For] a lot of kids, college is not for them, but everyone tells them they have to go to college," Pate said. "And a lot of times, they end up not doing well and dropping out because it’s not for them. They don’t realize all the jobs that they can get without going to college and make a living for themselves with jobs that they might be interested in.