Local manufacturers are looking for high school graduates who want a well-paying job. They also do not need a college degree.
Star Distributions, Evergreen Packaging, Stingray Chevrolet and James Hardie all hosted Plant City High School students on Friday in an effort to get them exposed to and interested in the manufacturing industry.
Like so many Plant City High School students, Dylan Brown, a senior, has been worried about what happens after graduation.
"Being on my own," he said. "Not knowing what to expect."
But now there are new possibilities. As students toured Star Distributions, Evergreen Packaging, Stingray Chevrolet and James Hardie, they found not only do these businesses have many jobs right after graduation but they can also apply without a college degree.
Pay starts at $14 per hour, said Evergreen Packaging leaders.
"The opportunities in Plant City beyond a job at McDonald's or Publix is huge for us," said Susan Sullivan, Plant City H.S. Principal.
Sullivan said about 35-40 percent of her students end up going to college, but 60 to 70 percent choose not to. That's why it's critical to expose them to industries where they can support themselves, she said.
"Someone can graduate from high school, go to work and have a good middle class life and that's what the base of Plant City is all about," said Rick Lott, Plant City's mayor.
The hope is that Dylan and students like him will choose to stay local, be able to earn a good living and be able to continue to give back to the Plant City community.