On Thursday, October 27, 80 local junior high and high school girls will go somewhere they’ve never gone before: An Advanced Manufacturing facility. The students will visit Oakley’s VEGA Americas campus as part of Making It Real: Girls & Manufacturing, an annual event designed to familiarize female middle and high school students with careers opportunities in modern manufacturing. The event is organized by Dream It, Do It OKI, a proven, successful career exploration and planning system designed especially for area students.

The girls will spend the day at VEGA Americas, beginning with a welcome from company President Ron Hegyesi and opening remarks from Cincinnati City Council Member Yvette Simpson. Following that address, the students will see various aspects of VEGA Americas’ operations, from engineering, testing, and fabrication, to product management, marketing, and human resources. Along the way, they’ll learn about educational requirements, general salary expectations, and daily duties of employees from a diverse set of roles.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to show young people what manufacturing looks like in 2016,” says Hegyesi. “There’s a perception out there that manufacturing is dirty and boring, and working in factory means doing the same thing all day, every day. That just isn’t the case. We have a beautiful, clean campus, state-of-the-art equipment, and opportunities for personal and professional development. Making It Real shows kids that there’s a future in manufacturing, and we’re proud to be a part of it.”

In the afternoon, the girls will witness a panel discussion between several women from different departments within VEGA Americas and Icy L. Williams President, CEO, and owner of ATMOS360 Inc., an organization specializing in industrial air filter systems and dust control equipment. This panel will share what it’s like to work in a modern Advanced Manufacturing business, and take questions from the audience. Thanks to some classroom research before the event, the students are prepared for a meaningful, real-world experience.

This will mark the first time VEGA Americas has participated in Making It Real: Girls & Manufacturing. Intelligrated in Mason, Ohio, and Mazak in Florence, Kentucky are host companies participating respectively on October 25 and October 26. In total, over 300 young ladies from Greater Cincinnati will visit Advanced Manufacturing companies during the three-day event. The participating companies will receive a commendation from the Ohio State Treasurer’s office.