Hatton Quarry recently hosted a tour for about a dozen educators with the DeQueen-Mena Education Service Cooperative, a program sponsored by the state of Arkansas that helps high schools better prepare those students not attending college for life in the workforce.
“Their primary focus is to gain an understanding of the skills needed to work in local industries so they can better assist our high schools as they prepare the students for the real world,” said Hatton’s Production Supervisor Salomon Hernandez, who, along with Office Manager Barbara Pollard, worked closely with the Cooperative to make the tour a valuable experience for all involved.
Hernandez said one of the challenges Hatton and other local quarries are facing is that young men and women are often intimidated by the mining industry and believe they lack the skills necessary for work in the field.
The production supervisor spoke to the educators for about two hours during the tour, telling them that if the local high schools can provide the basic math and mechanical skills, Martin Marietta can take over from there.
“I’m a prime example,” Hernandez said. “I started work at Martin the day after my high school graduation. I’ve worked hard over the past 16 years and now I help manage this place. If these teachers can inspire an eagerness to learn, we can do the rest.”