Middle school and high school students in the Gaston County School System can learn about employment opportunities in manufacturing at the Gaston County Advanced Manufacturing Career Expo, which takes place on Thursday, March 29, at Gaston College. Area manufacturers, working in conjunction with the Gaston County Association of Manufacturers and Gaston County Schools, will be on hand to inform the students about their companies, the products they manufacture, the types of positions that are available, and what the companies look for in candidates for their positions. Those companies include Mann+Hummel, Pharr Yarns, and American & Efird, among others. American & Efird (A&E) is a Mount Holly-based global manufacturer of sewing thread, embroidery thread, and technical textiles. Matt Richardson, Assistant Plant Manager of Plant 56 in Gastonia, has attended previous Career Expos—once as a volunteer and in 2017 as an employee of A&E. “The Career Expo provides an opportunity for students to learn what companies in their communities are ready to hire,” he said. “Being a Gaston County Schools product myself, I had no idea of the potential careers that were available to me at my own doorstep.” Richardson also touts the benefits of participation for local companies. “This is a way for employers to market themselves as an option for tomorrow’s employees,” he said. “Companies can show students there are career options that don’t necessarily require a college degree to make a good living.” It is estimated that 800 students from 22 middle and high schools will visit the expo. The schools will provide round-trip transportation to the Gaston College campus. Middle school students will attend from 9 to 11 a.m. and high school students will attend from 11:45 a.m. to 2 p.m.