Eastman's third annual Manufacturing Day draws about 2,500 Dobyns-Bennett students

Rick Wagner • Oct 4, 2018 at 10:00 PM

KINGSPORT — From information technology or IT to engineering, thermal imaging and drones, about 2,500 Dobyns-Bennett High School students got the skinny on potential manufacturing-related careers and how to prepare for them at the third annual Manufacturing Day Thursday at D-B.

The event in the Buck Van Huss Dome was part of a nationwide observance, and locally it is sponsored by Kingsport-based Eastman Chemical Co. Other sponsors were the Regional Center for Advanced Manufacturing or RCAM, Kingsport Chamber of Commerce, Junior Achievement and Northeast State Community College.

“I’m going into a field that is based off this,” D-B senior Elizabeth Hull said while participating in the event. She plans to become a mechanical engineer after going to Texas A & M University and work on 3D printing of prosthetic limbs for amputees and those born without arms or legs.

Amanda Allman of Eastman Corporate Communications explained that the students who attended, mostly during the Tribe Time lunch and activities period, had the chance to go through 16 stations that included a mock interview as well as drones, IT, thermal imaging, sustainability and advanced technologies. Allman said students who got their cards stamped from at least seven stations got their names put in a drawing for grand prizes, and those who played games got to pick two things from snacks and other smaller prizes.

Among those undergoing mock interviews was freshman Andrea Martinzez, interviewed by Cindy Necessary of the RCAM operated by Northeast State.

In addition, students going through station 7 saw Pete Eldridge explain a programmable contoller system and got a primer on manufacturing jobs at station 2 from Dani Hubert of Eastman operations.

As for fun and games, students played corn hole, tried to throw ping pong balls in plastic cups and did some miniature golfing, the later including a performance by freshmen Ethan Kulbacki. In addition, students could snap cell phone selfies behind an oversized Instagram template, try on manufacturing gear and see a 3D printer and drone in action.

Allman said the event is designed to raise awareness of manufacturing careers and answer questions about the educational and training programs available in the region. Superintendent Jeff Moorhouse, who attended along with Assistant Superintent of Instruction Rhonda Stringham, said the event is an excellent way to introduce students to potential manufacturing careers. 

At the IT station, folks from Eastman had a real-time computer graphic from Kasperski showing cyber attacks and hacks worldwide, something that seniors Darion Cordell and Chris Cody stopped by to see and have explained by Eastman data consultant Marshall Couch.

Meanwhile, junior Thomas Nicholson said he enjoyed the event but hasn’t decided on a career in or out of manufacturing yet, adding that he plans to attend a four-year college.

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