Another successful AV Week has passed at Draper–this year with a bit more fanfare. We invited over 100 of our local vocational students to visit us in Spiceland, IN. We had pre-engineering, graphic design, computer operations, and marketing students. Break-out sessions were led by Draper employees with experience in these fields.
Roy Smith, Senior CAD designer, helped with the pre-engineering group and then led a plant tour showing off our robotic welders and plasma cutter. The drawings Roy does directly affect the product made on these machines. The students got to see the real life application of his work.
Dave Elliott, IT Director, spoke with the computer operations classes. The students got a tour of our server room and an idea of how the Draper network functions.
Gini Deaton, Graphic Designer, not only spoke with her classes but because of her activity in AV Week last year, joined the advisory board at the vocational school. She was thrilled that we were in the process of building one of our tradeshow booths that showcased many of the graphics projects that she and her co-workers had designed.
Bob Mathes, AV Market Manager, and I got to spend some time with the marketing class. This is the first year the vocational program has had a marketing class. We spent much of our time together talking about what it took to not only find but to land a job. Bob asked each of the students to develop their own story and learn to sell it. Regardless of what field they go in to, that will be a valuable piece of information.
As I did a brief company history, the first question I asked in all of our sessions was “who knows something about Draper?” No one raised their hand. This didn’t surprise me. Draper keeps a very low profile in our community, even though we are the largest employer outside of the hospital and New Castle school system. I personally did not know where Draper was located when I first interviewed here 13 years ago, and I grew up in the area. Dave Elliott had a great comment. “We talk about ‘brain drain,’ talented kids who leave the area and don’t come back. The more we can show off Draper and the stuff we do here, the better chance we have of some of this talent returning to the area and hopefully, to Draper.” A few years from now, maybe one of these students will be back…that is the goal of AV Week after all.