4-H’ers in Guadalupe, Hays and Travis counties learn about careers
SAN MARCOS – The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service 4-H and youth development programs in Guadalupe, Hays and Travis counties, in partnership with Philips, recently presented a career day at the Philips Lighting facility at 1611 Clovis Barker Road in San Marcos.
Coordinators said more than 30 youth entering grades 7-12, along with 10 adults associated with area 4-H programs, attended the event. Students learned about Philips operations in San Marcos and gained insights in college and career opportunities.
“Students who attended the career day received information and advice from engineers, marketing managers, sales associates and other Philips professionals,” said Cory Talley, AgriLife Extension agent for 4-H and youth development, Travis County. “They also had the opportunity to tour the facility and see the manufacturing process.”
Talley said the career day, held in conjunction with the 4-H program, was part of the Philips Cares nationwide community initiative and served as a joint goal of both organizations to get students more involved in science, technology, engineering and math subjects and activities.
The career day was one of many activities made possible by $10,000 in grant funding provided to National 4-H through the Philips Cares initiative, she noted.
The Philips facility in San Marcos, part of Philips North America, employs about 350 people and is primarily involved in the manufacture of high-intensity commercial outdoor, industrial, architectural and professional sports lighting, as well as high-mast lighting fixtures and control systems.
Talley said the career day provided an opportunity for students to get a better understanding of their own personalities and possible career interests. It also allowed them to be mentored by caring adults who wanted to help them succeed academically and in business.
“Our employees were willing and excited to pass on tasks and knowledge of their role with Philips to the kids who participated,” said Coty Orona, with Philips customer service in San Marcos. “This career day was as beneficial to us as to the kids who came to visit us. We learned that there are a lot of intelligent kids who know about their interests and their goals for the future.”
“The career day provided students with an opportunity to discover what aspects of business they enjoyed,” Talley said. “Some of the kids were more interested in the engineering and technology, while others were more interested in how to market or sell the products.”
Milano Mikol, a 15-year-old high school student from Hays County, was among those who attended the career day.
“Since I have a huge interest in corporate business, I found the career day to be very informative in how a product line is created,” Mikol said.
“The students who attended gained insight into what our facility here at San Marcos is all about and some knowledge about the lighting industry,” said David Peter, a Philips design engineer and career day presenter. “I believe these types of educational opportunities for students are important and also beneficial for them to get a head start in engineering, science and math.”
Other Philips presenters at the career day included Clark Douglas, sales; Lisa Waddington, operations – ISO coordinator; and Armando Enriquez, operations – manufacturing manager.
Talley said 4-H and Philips also have a shared interest in providing service to communities for the purpose of improving residents’ lives.
“In addition to its science, technology and community service efforts, Philips supports 4-H because it is America’s most effective youth organization and is committed to building sustainable communities through the development of youth and youth leadership,” she said. “We are national in scope, and many Philips employees are already aware of or have kids who participate in 4-H — or are themselves engaged in the program.”
Talley added that 4-H National Youth Science Day, during which millions of young people throughout the U.S. participate in science-based activities, serves as another example of the youth organization’s commitment to involving young people in scientific exploration and discovery.