Second Annual Career Showcase Held at Gary Anderson CMP Competition Center
October 7, 2015Civilian Marksmanship Program▸The First Shot▸Second Annual Career Showcase Held at Gary Anderson CMP Competition Center
By Ashley Brugnone, CMP Writer
CAMP PERRY, OH – On Oct. 2, 2015, freshman students from local schools were bussed to the Gary Anderson CMP Competition Center at Camp Perry to take part in the second annual Ottawa County Career Showcase. The event, conducted by the Ottawa County Improvement Corporation and sponsored by the Ottawa County Business Advisory Council, was part of National Manufacturing Month – celebrated in October.
This year, over 600 freshman students from Ottawa County schools (where Camp Perry is located) attended the showcase. The Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) was proud to serve as participant and host at last year’s inaugural event as well as during this year’s showcase, which is meant to encourage workforce development, career preparation and skilled-trade opportunities for the next workforce generation.
“There was a growing concern amongst the businesses of Ottawa County about where the workforce of the future was going to be coming from and how they would be able to send a message to young kids about the careers that are available within Ottawa County,” said Jamie Beier Grant, director of the Ottawa County Improvement Corporation.
With those concerns, the Corporation met with school administrations around the county and discussed how to make students aware of area opportunities. From there, the Ottawa County Business Advisory Council was formed from business and education leaders with a goal of developing a pathway for youth in their future careers.
Twenty employers, ranging from manufacturing to tourism, marketing to health care, and many places in between, constructed interactive and informative booths for the students to enjoy. The Liberty Aviation Museum in Port Clinton even brought a flight simulator for the freshman to try, while the Sheriff’s Department allowed students to try on law enforcement equipment.
“The engagement of the students becomes obvious,” said Beier Grant. “You see the kids having fun and enjoying it, but then, really becoming intrigued by it. And the businesses enjoy it because it gets them exposure and they get to educate the kids on what they do.”
The CMP became involved when the council was looking for a place to hold the event. After meeting with Beier Grant, administrators at the CMP decided to donate the range space to the group.
“Being able to bring the air gun range into the mix with the kids helps to promote marksmanship to youth, which I know is one of the mission objectives of the CMP,” Beier Grant said. “It ended up being a nice marriage between the two.”
Between their visits to each company’s booth, the freshmen were given the opportunity to fire CMP’s sporter air rifles in the world-class air rifle range – opening their eyes to a sport some had never seen before.
Tyler Thompson, 18, of the Ottawa County 4-H Shooting Stars air rifle team, is a talented young marksman from the area. During the event, Tyler showed off his precision air rifle equipment as he fired shots at the range’s electronic targets – wearing his shooting jacket, pants and shoes. He also gladly answered the many questions the curious students had for him about the sport of air rifle shooting.
“It’s a lot of fun – I enjoy it,” Tyler said. “I don’t think a lot of them have seen this type of rifle before. They did really well.”
His brother, Bryce, 15, showed off his air pistol that he has fired in many CMP events. A group formed around the brothers, and they even let some of the students fire their air guns.
Hannah Polanco, a freshman at Danbury High School, was one of the lucky students to receive Tyler’s help. A hunter, she was used to firing guns, but nothing like the air rifles at CMP’s range. She first tried the sporter air rifle, then she moved on to the fancier, more complex precision air rifle.
“I just like shooting guns,” she said with a laugh. “I liked [the precision rifle] a lot. It was heavy, but I got used to it, and the trigger was easier to pull.”
“It’s normal – just like any other gun,” she added. “I’d probably do it again.”
Hosting the event is one of the many ways the CMP is staying connected to the area. With the large and accommodating space offered at the Gary Anderson CMP Competition Center, the CMP is able to introduce the world of air guns to curious visitors while helping to expand community support and the public’s perspective on all of the great happenings within the range.