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Katy ISD HS students taking advantage of manufacturing engineering program

Students in Katy are getting hands-on training through the district's program.

KATY, Texas — An area high school is providing its students with a learning environment that will help them soar past the competition.

A manufacturing and engineering competition.

Students in Katy are getting the hands-on training NASA scientists dream about. And, it's all free.

"It’s like a robotics class on steroids," Monica Raumaker said.

Raumaker and Connor Brown are both seniors and are part of Katy Independent School District's latest Career and Tech Program: Manufacturing Engineering.

"It’s awesome. It’s definitely a big opportunity to get work experience before ever going into the workforce," Brown said.

The program is boosting college applications and building futures. The senior duo sees the program as a way to get acquainted with the tools they may use in their actual career.

"You have a lot of the space programs that are opening up, a lot of this stuff is one of the major parts in a lot of spacecraft," Brown said.

The program was created to meet the demand for more engineers.

"The demand (for engineers) is huge. It’s not just Katy ISD. It’s a nationwide thing," Dallas Bergstrom said.

Bergstrom is a teacher at the Katy ISD Miller Career Center.

"This could lead to anything from (becoming) a technician. It could lead (students) into a trade school," Bergstrom said. "There are jobs out there available for $60,000, $70,000 a year without the college education."

Rather than teaching the old-school mentality of choosing between trade school or college, the program teaches students that both are possible.

"Sky’s the limit," Bergstrom said.

Raumaker and Brown are headed to a state competition this weekend. They're hoping to show off their skills.

"With some businesses that are looking for people that have a lot of hands-on experience, I have the upper hand because I’ve been working on this stuff for two years," Brown said.

The free hands-on training is helping Katy ISD students grab hold of their future.

To learn more about the Manufacturing and Engineering Program offered by Katy ISD, click here.

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