(WACO, Texas) – Students from Texas State Technical College’s Facilities Management Technology and Industrial Systems programs toured Merrick Engineering Inc. in Waco on Friday.
The tour occurred on Manufacturing Day, which is observed nationwide on the first Friday in October.
“We want them to understand the manufacturing fundamentals,” said Ali Jawady, the company’s operations manager. “Anything we can do to help attract new people in this trade is what I am hoping for.”
The students learned about the company’s production of plastic clothes hangers, bowls, plates and other items. The company supplies these products to Dollar General, Target, Walmart and other retailers.
“It was a pleasure talking to area students today about the great work going on at Merrick Engineering in Waco, the thousands of jobs they create for Texans and the relationship they share with Walmart,” said Rudy Garcia, manager of Walmart’s Franklin Avenue location in Waco.
Students saw Merrick Engineering’s inventory, production, recycling and shipping areas. Large machines hummed and employees stacked newly made plastic goods and boxes as students walked through the plant.
Michael Hubbard, lead instructor in TSTC’s Industrial Systems and Engineering department, said he was glad to see the students engaged during the tour.
“It is fun for me to listen to the students repeat things they are hearing in class,” he said. “It means they are listening.”
Kevin Wright, a Facilities Management Technology student from Sherman, said the program’s field trips are valuable learning experiences.
“You can only learn so much in class,” he said. “We get to see the real aspects. There is just so much. You have the pneumatics, the hydraulics. We get to know the parts and their importance.”
The company has more than 850 employees at facilities in Waco, along with Corona, California, and Clarksburg, West Virginia.
For more information on Texas State Technical College, go to tstc.edu.