Thirty-nine Canadian High School 11th and 12th-grade GEAR UP students recently toured Franklin Electric Company in Wilburton, Oklahoma. Franklin Electric is a global leader in the manufacturing and distributing of products and systems focused on the movement and management of water and fuel. Upon arrival at the plant, the students were greeted with a warm welcome by Engineering Assistance Liesil Massey. Students were then separated into groups and led on tours of the facility by Operations Manager Lynn Shaffer and Supervisor Mark Evans.
As the students toured the plant, Shaffer and Evans explained the different product types, applications, and how they affect people’s daily lives since these products are tied to drinking water and industrial irrigation applications that help produce crops. Emphasis was placed on how education is vital to the sustainability of these products and innovative developments through technological advancements and how education will help to move this forward. At the end of the tour, Shaffer and Evens provided the students the opportunity to ask questions which allowed for discussion about job qualifications, and Shaffer and Evans emphasized how critical it is to have core math and reading comprehension skills and computer basics since most technology has or is moving towards computer-based systems.
The students said that having the opportunity to tour Franklin Electric provided them with valuable information about not only what Franklin Electric does but also about job opportunities at the plant and the benefits that are provided by the company to employees.
The field trip was sponsored by Eastern Oklahoma State College’s GEAR UP program. Eastern received a $17 million federal GEAR UP grant in 2017, and will serve more than 3,000 students in 39 area schools for seven years.
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