There’s a new business in Seymour looking to provide quality-made products and services for a variety of markets and customers.

Owl Manufacturing has a hardworking and dedicated staff of 15 employees. But instead of a paycheck, they are working to earn high school and college credits and gain knowledge, skills and experience needed for a successful future career in manufacturing.

In just one semester, the Seymour High School students have started the business from scratch. That includes researching and purchasing needed equipment, assigning job titles and tasks to workers, training on how to use the equipment, identifying and securing customers and finally, producing and delivering the finished products.

Sophomore Dylan Rigdon said being a part of Owl Manufacturing is better preparing him for a career than taking a regular manufacturing class or other traditional classes.

“I think it’s given us good experiences for later in life when we go get a job,” he said. “It’s teaching us a lot of stuff, how to get stuff done.”

Their biggest order so far has been for 122 Christmas ornaments and the same number of vinyl Seymour decals. That order came from Assistant Principal Catherine DuBois as gifts for teachers and staff.

The students used computer software to design four ornaments for teachers to choose from, including snowflakes and angels. They then cut the ornaments out of metal using their plasma cutter and grinding and sandblasting equipment and finished them with a clear coat before packaging them. They also designed, print and cut the vinyl decals.

With a turnaround of just 10 days, it was a real-life experience in the importance of meeting deadlines and learning time management.

The students also are constructing Creform white display boards for Aisin. It was an order that allowed them to make contacts at Aisin and develop professional invoices for taking and fulfilling orders.

Another job has involved designing, printing, cutting and selling custom vinyl Seymour decals to students, teachers and others in the community.

Employees of Owl Manufacturing range in age from sophomores to seniors and in its first year are all male. Adviser Bob Sexton hopes to see girls take interest in the business as it grows.

Although he is a teacher, Sexton does not teach Owl Manufacturing as a class. It operates as a real company, and he, along with teachers Jeremy Wischmeier, Ryan Money and Curt Schleibaum mentor the group, providing supervision and guidance.

Read the full story in Friday’s Tribune and online at tribtown.com.

Author photo
January Rutherford is a reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. She can be reached at jrutherford@tribtown.com or 812-523-7069.