For one group of students, Martin Luther King Jr. Day ended up being a chance to learn more about the area they live in.
The Youth Leadership Morristown group, made up of students from Morristown-Hamblen High School East and West, toured three different industries Monday and also had a chance to hear from leaders in the economic development community.
“It was a pretty busy day for us,” said Daryl Brady, the group’s coordinator.
The Youth Leadership Morristown group began at the start of the school year under Brady’s direction. The idea is for students from both high schools to develop leadership skills and also get a chance to learn more about the community.
So far, the group has visited the Morristown City Council, the Hamblen County Commission and Hamblen County school board meetings.
On Monday, the group toured Tuff Torq, Inc. ColorTech and JTEKT. They also heard from Marshall Ramsey, president of the Morristown Area Chamber of Commerce, and R. Jack Fishman, chairman of the Morristown Industrial Development Board.
Brady said Fishman spent time talking to the high schoolers about retail and industrial development within the community.
“They enjoyed it tremendously,” Brady said. “It was an eye opening experience.”
He said the group got to see that industries in town have an “international flavor.” Brady said the group was impressed to find out industries had plants nationally and internationally.
“I think they were impressed these factories have plants in other parts of the world,” Brady said.
He said they were also impressed to find that there are many different types of jobs within these factories, and not just working on a line, but also professional jobs.
He said they were also impressed with the emphasis each plant put on safety and how that was a repeating emphasis at each facility.
The next step for Youth Leadership Morristown will be to tour Morristown Utility Systems and find out more about the electric grid and FiberNet, Brady said. They will conduct that tour next week.