JONESBORO, Ark.— For 72 years, Hytrol has been leading the way creating material handling technology, but it also seeks to pave the way for the next generation of engineers and manufacturers by introducing STEM to the students of Northeast Arkansas. In 2019, the area’s largest manufacturing employer has participated in several programs that offer opportunities for students to learn more about careers in the science, technology, engineering and math fields.
“The youth of Northeast Arkansas are our greatest asset,” said President David Peacock. “It is important, not only to our industry, but also to our community that we invest in them by sharing our profession and expertise with them. Many times, they are unaware of the career opportunities in manufacturing unless they hear about it through one of these programs.”
This summer Hytrol participated in the STRIVE program through the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. The program provides 7 – 12th grade teachers with experiences to help students become more prepared for the STEM workforce.
Marked Tree 7th and 8th grade teacher Dana Booth interned with the company’s Research and Development team to experience real-world situations that utilize STEM. She plans to bring those experiences into the classroom next fall.
“This gave me a better idea of what skills students need to be prepared for when they enter the workforce,” Booth said. “I’ve noticed teamwork is an important skill to have in the workplace. I will definitely implement the teamwork concept into more lessons that require students to listen to and depend on each other by working as a team to problem solve.”
For the third straight year, Hytrol partnered with the Museum of Discovery in Little Rock and its “Girls in STEM” program. Participants, ages 12 to 15, spent the day learning how to create parts, blueprints and build a conveyor using engineering software. They also toured Hytrol’s production facility and Technology Center to see first-hand how the parts come together to create a conveyor.
“I look forward to this program every year,” said Systems Product Engineer Lisa.
Richardson. “It is important that girls are introduced to these STEM opportunities at a young age. Hopefully, they take this and build on their interest in STEM.”
Hytrol is also paving the way at the state level, where Director of Research and Development Ben Moyer serves on the Arkansas STEM Coalition Board of Directors. The organization is a partnership of business, education, government and community leaders who advocate for programs and policies in support of STEM to expand the state’s economy and produce higher paying jobs. It offers programs throughout the state that highlight computer science, girls in STEM and robotics, among others.
“I am passionate about my profession,” said Moyer. “I love engineering, and I love STEM. Any chance I get to tell children about the remarkable things they can accomplish and create through STEM is a good day. As professionals, it is important that we help foster the next generation that will come after us.”
The company continues its work locally, partnering with Jonesboro’s Tek Starz summer manufacturing camp where students learn about manufacturing career opportunities. In addition, Hytrol employees visit Jonesboro-area schools to educate students about the engineering field and various career options available to them and many serve on school STEM advisory boards.
Hytrol sponsors and mentors the Jonesboro High School Robotics Club, and during the fall, it will sponsor A-State Football’s STEM game at Centennial Bank Stadium on Sept. 21 against Southern Illinois.
Hytrol sells through an exclusive network of integration partners. The industry-leading network includes more than 100 independent businesses worldwide who can assist with material handling projects of all shapes and sizes. Visit: https://www.hytrol.com/Contact/IP-Locator to locate an integration partner to purchase Hytrol conveyors.
Accumulation conveyors are used to hold or buffer products into areas such as merges, sortation, or palletizers. Narrow belt conveyors are roller conveyors that are powered by a narrow belt below the rollers and provide longer runs per drive.
For more information on Hytrol, visit www.hytrol.com.