“Made in the High Desert” Connects Students, Manufacturers

By Staff Reports

(Victor Valley)– Some 3,000 students from around the High Desert participated in the fourth annual “Made in the High Desert” event Feb. 21.The event connects high school students with local manufacturers offering careers in well-paying jobs. It’s also an opportunity for manufacturers, teachers and school administrators to discuss how to link classroom lessons with job skills that are in high demand. “I’m impressed by all of these students, all the school districts that participated and especially the local manufacturers and mining companies that made this event possible,” said Supervisor Lovingood, who started the event in 2015.“Made in the High Desert” is in partnership with Pathways to Success to provide this dynamic opportunity for students as they prepare for college and career. Supervisor Lovingood also complimented Victor Valley College and Barstow College for their participation.

The High Desert is home to a growing number of manufacturing firms primarily due to pro-business policies of local governments, an independent air quality management district, available land and the workforce. Corporate site selectors are shifting away from decisions based on “location, location, location.” Today, the greatest driver is available workforce.

“Interacting with tomorrow’s employees today is very exciting,” said Steve Muir, Director of Field Avionics for General Atomics Aeronautics, which manufactures unmanned aerial vehicles. “Combining ‘Made In The High Desert’ and ‘Pathways To Success’ allows local employers like General Atomics Aeronautical to engage and inspire our future workforce.

“This is providing opportunities for students to understand what all the different careers in the High Desert are, what training is required, that not everything requires a four-year degree,” said Apple Valley Unified School District Superintendent Tom Hoegerman. “This really gives kids the opportunity to see what is out there so that we can keep our graduates here in the desert.” Hoegerman added that the event provided a forum for teachers to talk with industries to find out what exactly they need in an employee certification.

Although Snowline School District needed to call a “snow day,” numerous students from this district were still able to attend the event and connect with employers, thanks to the support of their parents and guardians.

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