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Explore the New Manufacturing Program Recognizes 12 Outstanding West Virginians


Launched in 2020, the Emerging Elite in Manufacturing & Outstanding Industry Educator Awards celebrate the skills and dedication of students and educators across West Virginia. As the Explore Team worked with students and educators through a myriad of programswe quickly noticed many students whose extraordinary talent and dedication and educators whose tireless commitment were unparalleledWe repeatedly found ourselves discussing that more West Virginians need to know about these highly skilled students and steadfast educatorsFinallythe Explore Team determined to do just thattelthe storieof these individuals and recognize their commitment to manufacturing throughout the Mountain State.

Admittedly, coordinating a series of virtual presentations to announce each awardee on social media during a statewide stay-at-home order was a convoluted processCounties, schools, students, and others worked with us to obtain quotes, pictures, and information so the recipients would be surprised. After months of wishing these folks had more recognition, and many planning the ceremony, we rolled out our inaugural season of the Emerging Elite in Manufacturing and Outstanding Industry Educator awards over twelve days in late May and JuneIt was an honor to announce each one. Media outlets, as well as school and county social media pages, followed suit in recognizing these awardees.

From across West Virginia, awardees have helped the Explore team illustrate the diversity and opportunities available within the state's manufacturing industry.

High school students mentored middle schoolers by hosting hands-on labs and facilitating during problem-solving workshopsAdditionally, they presented to large groups of students, sharing the uncertainties they had in middle school about which career paths to choose and how they discovered the types of jobs that fit their interests and skills. Our Emerging Elite in Manufacturing honorees also lead groups of their peers through Assimilated Workplace and Project Lead the Way educational curriculums, among others at their schools. Several have presented and won awards at national level Career and Technical Education competitions and conferences.

Our Outstanding Industry Educator Awardees are amazing educators at the middle and high school levels. They work diligently to make sure their students are engaged and encouraged to explore career paths that will offer a rewarding future. They have embraced the Explore the New Manufacturing program and are continually seeking ways to link studeninterest to job opportunities with local manufacturersTheir commitment has helped us to expand our efforts and pave the way towards keeping our young folks in West Virginia through meaningful employment.

Our awardees offer hope for the state's future and the manufacturing industries that choose to operate within our borders. All slideshow announcements for the 2020 Emerging Elite and Industry Educator Awards are available on the Explore website.

Emerging Elite in Manufacturing

High School Category

  • Katie Hesson - Spring Valley High School
  • Karissa Hebb – Elkins High School
  • Tanner Lee – Carver Career and Technical Center

Internship Category

  • Mitchell Davis - Rubberlite, Inc. Internship

Outstanding Industry Educator Awards

Middle School Category

  • Poca Middle School - Julie Longsworth, Jessie Sams, and Kensie Fisher
  • Jerry Dooley - Taylor County Middle School
  • Bricie Brannan - Sherrard Middle School
  • Amy Lopez - North Middle School
  • Justin Boggs - Cabell County Schools

High School Category

  • Bruce Hamrick - Carver Career and Technical Center
  • Aaron Fedorke -Wheeling Park High School
  • Don Robinette - Monongalia County Technical Center

Program Sponsors

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Upcoming Dates

23 Jul
Date 07.23.2024 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
24 Jul
Morning Session WVMA-EF Board Retreat
07.24.2024 8:15 am - 11:00 am
24 Jul
Afternoon Session WVMA-EF Board Retreat
07.24.2024 12:15 pm - 3:00 pm
4 Sep
WVMA-EF Executive Committee Meeting
09.04.2024 8:00 am - 9:00 am
6 Nov
WVMA-EF Executive Committee Meeting
11.06.2024 8:00 am - 9:00 am
5 Feb
WVMA-EF Executive Committee Meeting
02.05.2025 8:00 am - 9:00 am

Updates from Explore

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