Youth Leadership queries business Area enterprises reveal manufacturing, marketing techniques

Cecil Giltz Published:

The Youth Leadership Portage County Class of 2003 had the opportunity to visit and tour two local businesses recently as part of Business Day.

The class, made up of sophomores, juniors and one senior representing high schools in Portage County participated in Business Day as part of the youth leadership curriculum of Leadership Portage County, a non-profit organization in Kent.

The first stop on the agenda was Step 2 Inc., located in Streetsboro. There, the class had the opportunity to tour the factory and participate in a question and answer session with Chuck Obendorf, as well as Human Resource representatives for the factory and the office area. The focus of the session was on summer job opportunities and what a corporation such as Step 2 looks for in new employees as well as their expectations for them. The students were especially fascinated with the steps it takes to create a toy from start to finish. Ryan Teller of Aurora High School stated, I thought Step 2 was very interesting especially the design of the toys from styrofoam to plastic, I liked that because Im interested in engineering.

The class then traveled to Deluxe Business Documents, also in Streetsboro. Here the class toured the factory and witnessed cell or lean manufacturing in action. Bob Wright of Deluxe told the class about the business, its size, the security concerns and how they stay ahead of these issues as well as its extensive product line. Amanda Porter of Maplewood Career Center said, Deluxe was cool because you get to see how much goes into making personal checks.

After lunch, provided by Deluxe, the class then had participated in a panel discussion made up of representatives from other Portage County businesses. Lee Strange, president of HW Fairway in Kent; Joelle Leidtke of Flush Nut Truss/Steinert Industries; Errol Can of the Law Firm of Williams, Welser and Kratcoski, all located in Kent; and Jim ONeil of WQMX (94.9 FM) participated on the panel. Their role was to discuss with the students not only how they developed their career paths but also the importance of giving back to the community and utilizing ones time and talent in philanthropic ways.

Youth Leadership Portage County began as a class project by members of Leadership Portage County Class of 1999.

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