Y-12 sponsors Dream it. Do it. competition for middle schools

Annual manufacturing competition modified during the pandemic

OAK RIDGE, Tenn. – Anderson County Chamber’s annual Dream It. Do It. competition will be modified because of the COVID-19 pandemic said Chamber officials. Instead of videos, four Anderson County middle school teams and two Oak Ridge middle school teams will create job fair pamphlets that capture the diversity of careers and technical innovations in Anderson County manufacturing industries.

The pandemic also impacted the 2019-2020 competition and subsequent awards ceremony. However, for their efforts, the schools participating in video, art, and web design competitions received monetary awards provided by Consolidated Nuclear Security. CNS is the managing contractor at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, and the Pantex Plant in Amarillo, Texas.

“We are absolutely thrilled to be able to offer the program when students are not able to go off campus during COVID-19,” said Anderson County Chamber President Rick Meredith.  “Our goal is to create an awareness about careers in their own backyards.  We can still get students excited about manufacturing and expose them to the idea that there are lots of job opportunities and even careers in manufacturing using technology platforms such as Zoom,” said Meredith.

The Chamber, Anderson County Schools, and CNS partnered to bring the program to Anderson County. Area industries Aisin, Eagle Bend, Clayton Homes of Appalachia, Protomet, SL TN, and Techmer PM are ready to take part.

“For CNS, it’s about the enduring global security mission that dates back to the Manhattan Project,” said Kristin Waldschlager, CNS education outreach specialist. “We will continue to need highly skilled workers for our mission. Getting middle school students to begin thinking about those kinds of careers helps us all in the future.”

Meredith agreed.  “There are many jobs in advanced manufacturing, and the initiative is an effort to acquaint students with these employment options. These are exciting jobs, and the students have an opportunity to learn what actually goes on behind the scenes. We hope it gets them excited about these kinds of careers,” he said.

The program involves a virtual experience where eighth grade students are introduced to adult settings. They will get a first-hand look at a manufacturing world they might not have considered as a future career. In April 2021, each of the six contest entries will be posted to the Anderson County Chamber’s YouTube account, and the public will have an opportunity to vote for their favorite entry. CNS will provide STEAM (science technology, engineering, art, and math) monetary awards to teachers at Clinton, Jefferson, Lake City, Norris, Norwood, and Robertsville middle schools who win in this annual event.

About Brad Jones

Brad is the Owner/Operator of BBB TV 12, and has been with the company since August of 1996. Brad is a 1987 graduate of Coalfield High School and a 1995 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Communications. He won the 1995 broadcast production student of the year award. Brad worked at Shop at Home, Inc. a home shopping network that was located in Knoxville, TN from 1993 - 1995 and then at Via TV (RSTV, Inc.) from 1995 - 1996. After some freelance work in Nashville, Brad joined the BBB Communications staff in August of 1996. A short stint at WVLT TV as a news photographer was in 2001, but he continued to work at BBB TV as well. Brad is married to Nicole Jenkins Jones, a 1990 graduate of Oak Ridge High School, who works at Oak Ridge Gastroenterology and Associates in Oak Ridge. They have 3 kids, Trevor Bogard, 27, Chandler 22, and Naomi 13. On December 12, 2013 they welcomed their first grandchild, Carter Ryan Bogard. Brad is also the assistant boys basketball coach at Coalfield High School for the past 11 years. In 2013-14 the Yellow Jackets won their first district title since 1991 and just the 4th in school history.

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