The young leaders then toured Port Bienville, a 3600-acre park home to 18 industries and employing 1200 workers in Hancock County. The park boasts a Short Line Railroad with CSX interchange, 15 miles of rail infrastructure, deep water access and close proximity to the interstate system. A tour of SABIC Innovative Plastics plant followed, where the students got an up-close look at the international company that produces plastic pellet material used in items such as car bumpers and electronics. Lunch was generously provided by SABIC.
The full day came to a close at Rolls-Royce Outdoor Jet Engine test facility at Stennis Space Center. Anthony Woodard, General Manager, discussed career opportunities with the students as well as why Stennis Space Center was a good home for their company. Students were taken on a tour of the facility and were able to see a jet engine actually being tested in the new $50 million outdoor jet engine test stand.
“Unless students this age happen to have a parent working at the Port or Stennis, they are often unaware that Hancock County is a hub for these technological and manufacturing industries which make up such an important part of our economy. If these young leaders are thinking about STEM or skilled manufacturing occupations, they now know they are available in their own back yard,” said Rhonda Rhodes, director of HYLA. The economic development tour was the fourth session for the high school juniors participating in the HYLA program, which concludes the program for the 2013-14 school year. Over the summer the students will work on summer projects that they plan and implement themselves related to courage, character, or service. The program will resume with the same group in the fall with community day.
Picture: HYLA students at Port Bienville -- Back Row (pictured from left to right): Evan Lundgren (SSC), Lexi York (Bay High), Sarah Rimmer (OLA), Trent Necaise (Hancock), Essie Harris (Bay High), Jenny Cuevas (Hancock), Presley Favre (Bay High), Noah Nicaud (SSC), Chase Rhodes (SSC), Mattie Huey (OLA), Georgia Williams (OLA)
Front Row: Emily McGinity (OLA), Megan Krynen (OLA), Chet Dastugue (Hancock), Maggie Stolz (Hanocck), Brittney Ladner (Hancock), Claire Ammentorp (Bay High), Megan Magee (Bay High), Morgan Cobb (Homeschool), Jim Liu (Bay High), Heath Sahuque (Bay High), Nick Bevis (Hancock)
Not pictured: Tyce Lawler (Bay High), Leona Cunningham (Hancock)