MORTON Ill. (WMBD) — Greater Peoria Area high school students got the chance to explore manufacturing careers first hand Tuesday afternoon.

High school students toured the inside of Morton Industries as part of the 2023 Discover Manufacturing Career Expo organized by Illinois Central College.

Students learned about careers like welding, robotic welding, and operating heavy machinery.

Wrigley Williams is a junior at Peoria Heights High School and said he’s always seen himself having a “hands-on” type of job.

“When my teacher said ‘Hey lets go on a field trip to Morton warehouse’, I was like okay cool yeah, I’d really like to get into that, that sounds like a fun thing to do. It was really educational coming here,” said Williams.

Morton Industries CEO Chris Ober said he found his love for manufacturing and hopes he’ll be able to spark that same passion in at least one of the students who visited the facility.

” I was in my 20s before I realized I had a love for manufacturing so the fact that we can bring them in here shows them what it’s all about. Again show them it’s safe and clean, you’re supported, and you don’t have to know how to do this work. Companies and manufacturers are going to teach so it’s such a great opportunity for these kids to come and just see what it’s all about,” said Ober.

Along with Morton Industries, the students also visited Komatsu in Peoria and on Saturday they’ll go to BTD manufacturing in Washington and Caterpillar in East Peoria.