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Rockwood Group Honored

April 19, 2017 | Somerset County Chamber of Commerce

Somerset County Chamber of Commerce

Rockwood School District’s STEM team was victorious, winning two of the four awards at the first Catalyst Connection manufacturing video contest, “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?” awards banquet March 23 at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown. The Rockwood STEM team, consisting of students in seventh-ninth grade, was paired with Clapper’s Industries of Meyersdale.

In November, students filmed and interviewed employees of Clapper’s Industries and explored the manufacturing process at their Meyersdale plant. Over a three-month period, the team edited three hours of footage into a three-minute commercial highlighting what was cool about jobs in the manufacturing industry.

During the last period of the school day, Rockwood students split into two teams, one to create and execute a marketing plan, and the other to edit the video footage. Two of the greatest challenges the students faced was learning how to use video editing software in a short period of time and developing a marketing plan to promote the video without any prior marketing knowledge.

The editing team watched many YouTube tutorial videos and employed trial and error to learn the editing software. The marketing team sought the help of Rockwood’s business teacher, Amber Walker, who provided invaluable textbook samples and marketing plan examples of past FBLA contest winners to assist in building the team’s marketing plan.
Rockwood’s video entry was in competition with five other school districts from Somerset and Cambria counties. Those schools and manufacturers were: Windber Area School District and BCL Manufacturing; Meyersdale Area School District and ITI Trailers & Truck Bodies; Somerset Area School District and Global SFC Valve; Greater Johnstown School District and JWF Industries; and Forest Hills School District and WPP Dough Company.

The determination and diligence of the Rockwood team paid off by winning the “People’s Choice Award” and the “Best Marketing Plan.” The “People’s Choice Award” winner was determined by the greatest number of votes on the Catalyst Connection website that hosted the videos. Windber School District won the “Most Creative Video” and Greater Johnstown School District won the “Best Manufacturing Message” award.

One of the most memorable moments of the ceremony was an impassioned presentation from JFW Industries VP of Human Resources John Skelley, who articulated the job opportunities and growth of manufacturing jobs in western Pennsylvania. He also defined the path students need to follow to take these jobs and positive life choices they need to make to be candidates for these employment opportunities.

The schools’ video entries can be viewed online at dreamitdoitpa.com/contests/2017-cambria-somerset.

About Catalyst Connection

Based in Pittsburgh, Catalyst Connection is an economic development organization dedicated to helping small manufacturers to improve their competitive performance. Catalyst advisors, consultants, and instructors offer training, consulting and administer financial programs that can provide funding for equipment, machinery, or capital improvements. As a nonprofit 501 (c)3 firm, the organization has been supporting Southwestern Pennsylvania manufacturers for more than 25 years. For more information call 1-888-887-7472 or go to www.catalystconnection.org.

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