SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Students from the Ozarks Technical College manufacturing program are participating in a rapid networking event that allows them to connect with employers from across the Ozarks.

With a recent worker shortage in this industry, Richard Doucey — a manufacturing student at OTC — said it’s encouraging to see employers who are looking to work with and potentially hire students who are still in school.

“It’s confidence-boosting,” Doucey said. “There are a lot of opportunities out there and they are willing to invest in their employees.”

Danelle Maxwell, the manufacturing department chair for OTC, said times have changed over the years, and with that comes new technological improvements for students to use and grow accustomed to.

“Showing the potential and showing what manufacturing is today and not the manufacturing of our parent’s generation or a generation ago. because it is a bright beautiful space that we’re in with high-tech equipment and that is what we are seeing in the job sector as well,“ Maxwell said.

Students are put into groups where they have eight minutes to talk to the employers and some students could leave after those 8 minutes with a job offer.