What's So Cool contest

A reception and awards event, including presentations on student projects, was held for the North Central PA What’s So Cool About Manufacturing contest Tuesday evening at the Ridgway Area High Middle/High School.

RIDGWAY — Manufacturing, and education in the field, drew state attention to Elk County Tuesday.

Representatives from the Pennsylvania departments of Labor & Industry and Community and Economic Development made stops at St. Marys Area High School, Penn Pallet and Ridgway Area Middle/High School to highlight industry and related education.

The day started at St. Marys high, where Carol Kilko, DCED deputy secretary for business financing, and Eileen Cipriani, L&I deputy secretary for workforce development toured the school and discussed STEM — or science, technology, engineering and math — education.

Information sent to the state by the district noted St. Marys is too far away from any established career and technical center to take advantage of many programs available. As a result, “SMAHS has become the hub for college and career readiness in our region,” according to the information sent.

“Our intent is to leverage the resources, expertise and benefits of the schools to have students reach high standards that match their career goals as per the National College and Career Ready Indicators,” Superintendent Brian Toth said in the information sent to the state. “We also have and intend to expand leveraging the needs of over fifty business and community leaders to assist with financing, training and work opportunities for all students across the region. As a result, the region will experience economic growth with local college and career ready students.”

Tuesday afternoon, the state team moved on to visit local manufacturer Penn Pallet to “discuss the need for students trained in STEM areas,” according to information provided by the state.

In the evening, the team visited the “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?” contest event at Ridgway Area Middle/High School, which included presentations from companies highlighted in this year’s contest and awards ceremony.

The contest consists of teams of middle school students creating videos on local manufacturers. The 2019 contest featured videos from teams hailing from 16 schools across Cameron, Clearfield, Elk, Jefferson, McKean and Potter counties.

While winners of the contest were announced Tuesday evening, results were not available in time for publication in today’s edition.

Despite reports in some local media sources, a representative of DCED confirmed Gov. Tom Wolf was not among representatives of state government visiting the county Tuesday.

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