Students drive awareness of West Michigan’s automotive industry

When Gentex took part in the recent Michigan International Auto Show at DeVos Place in Grand Rapids, the manufacturer showcased career opportunities in the auto industry. 

Gentex teamed up with The Mosaic Film Experience and students from Careerline Tech Center and Kent Career Tech Center to produce a student-created video showcasing West Michigan’s ties to the automotive industry. 

The five-minute video features five West Michigan businesses and discusses the diverse career opportunities within the industry. The video was streamed at the Gentex booth at the Michigan International Auto Show from Feb. 2-6 at DeVos Place.

32 students, 5 companies

To create the video, a production team of 32 students from Careerline Tech Center interviewed leadership and filmed B-roll footage at Gentex, JMax Transportation, Royal Technologies, Techno-Coat, and Shoreline Container.

“Real projects with real products create a genuine experience where the potential for learning grows exponentially and supports students in preparing for future education,” says Bill Wolbrink, media and communications instructor at Careerline Tech Center. “The process of going out to the different businesses and seeing how they operate was eye-opening for our students. Their visits also dispelled some of the students’ perceptions about the manufacturing industry.”  

Kent Career Tech Center student Yejin Jeon produced the graphic overlays used throughout the video.

For Jenison High School senior Joey Heyboer, who served as lead editor, the project provided a glimpse into the digital media field. He plans to pursue freelance video and editing work after graduation.

“In addition to learning about West Michigan’s role in the automotive industry, I learned a lot of key editing skills that I can use in my future,” says Heyboer. “I like that I was involved with many different companies and people throughout the project. It was a great experience that not every student has the opportunity to do.”

Students are now using the footage to produce separate recruiting videos for each company that detail what they are looking for in prospective team members.

“Whether it’s filmmaking, manufacturing, or entrepreneurship, the knowledge and skills acquired during a project of this scale help students in any career,” says Derk Baartman, vice president of The Mosaic Film Experience. “The videos created are a testament to the students’ hard work and creativity, and we can’t wait to see what they’ll achieve in the future.”

STEAM partnership

The project is part of The Mosaic Film Experience’s STEAM partnership with Gentex, aimed at inspiring the next generation of professionals in the arts and technology.

Founded in 2012, The Mosaic Film Experience is a nonprofit organization that uses the platform of digital media to provide students with an opportunity to tell their unique stories and equip them with the critical thinking, collaborative, and creative skills necessary for career preparedness. 

There are three aspects to The Mosaic Film Experience: 
  • The Mosaic Event: An annual interactive experience that provides students access to industry professionals through creative, career-inspiring workshops.
  • Mosaic Mobile: An annual mobile film competition for which films are shot, edited, and entered on mobile devices. 
  • Mosaic Community: Events ranging from after-school curriculum to industry guest speakers and film screenings.

Operated by Ottawa Area Intermediate School District, Careerline Tech Center prepares high school juniors and seniors for tomorrow’s workforce by providing career and technical education in 29 career areas. 

CTC serves students from public and private high schools, as well as those who are homeschooled, within the following local school districts: Allendale, Coopersville, Grand Haven, Hamilton, Holland, Hudsonville, Jenison, Saugatuck, Spring Lake, West Ottawa, and Zeeland.

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Read more articles by Shandra Martinez.