Middle school group gets lesson in manufacturing

Students and teachers at Rosie’s Girls Advanced Manufacturing Camp for middle school girls show off the iconic Rosie The Riveter image.

This one was for the girls.

Last week’s Rosie’s Girls Advanced Manufacturing Camp brought a group of middle school girls to experience a week-long class on manufacturing and how things are conducted in that industry.

“We’re trying to draw in females to these traditionally male programs,” said Missy Hayes, Hamblen County CTE middle school instructor.

The camp was funded as part of Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee’s Governors Investment in Vocational Education, or GIVE, grant.

Almost $1 million was awarded through the grant to the Lakeway Area with a portion going to Hamblen, Cocke, Hancock, Hawkins, Grainger, Greene and Jefferson counties.

Chuck Carter, Hamblen County’s CTE supervisor, said that educators met with officials from the Tennessee College of Applied Technology-Morristown and one of the important steps was including the camp for Rosie’s Girls, emphasizing bringing women into the traditionally male oriented workforce.

Rosie’s Girls is a nod to the iconic, Rosie the Riveter, featured in advertisements during World War II that emphasized women’s roles in manufacturing and ship building during the war while most men were overseas fighting.

Many of the girls in the camp embraced the idea and wore red bandanas. The girls graduated from the class on Friday.

During the camp, the girls spent time learning about welding, engineering, machining and electromechanical technologies.

The girls also got to tour a plant, Team Technologies, and see manufacturing first hand.

“They’re learning the basics,” said Richard Hawkins, CTE middle school instructor. “They’re getting a taste. It will directly tie into classes they can take this year.”

Hayes, Hawkins, Craig Short, Josh Miller and Wes Harbin led the class.

Hawkins said the girls loved being able to participate in the class.

“They seemed to like it very well,” he said. “They participated, they asked questions. They were really animated.”