Recently two groups of six grade students toured the ATS labs as part of their STEM field trip. In collaboration with Duval Asphalt and Cemex, the three companies took the opportunity to introduce the students to potential future careers in the asphalt and concrete industries.
Educator Elizabeth Jones-Rehberg supervised the field trips. She teaches the gifted students from area schools around north Jacksonville and enjoyed the tours of the facilities. “What a great learning experience!” she said. “Many of my students may not think of attending a four-year college as an option. It was great to learn about rewarding careers in the asphalt industry that do not require a college degree.”
Over the past year ATS has hosted over a dozen tours through its labs, but this was the first for elementary age students. “After touring Duval Asphalt’s plant to learn how asphalt is made, the students come into the labs to learn how we test it,” said Molly Soltis, Marketing & Business Development for ATS. “It’s great to see their eyes light up when they see the equipment running or when our technicians show them the different materials they test to make an asphalt ‘recipe.’ Introducing them to our industry at an early age may spark interest that they will carry with them through graduation. Our hope is to attract more young people to our industry since they are the future of our workforce.”
Attracting quality talent and the next generation of professionals is a major hot topic in numerous industries. The team at ATS is proactive in engaging students by hosting tours and attending career fairs. The team takes pride in its workforce development efforts and will continue to welcome students to its labs to bring awareness to the asphalt industry and also highlight the successful career options it offers.