On November 17, 2022, the Mini-Cassia factory hosted a group of students from Minico High School who are part of the GEAR UP program. GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) started in 1999. This national discretionary grant program funded by the US Department of Education works to increase the number of low-income students ready to enter and succeed in postsecondary education. “The students were very interactive and impressed by the presentations and tour,” said Steve Roberts, Mini-Cassia District Safety Manager.
The group comprised twenty individuals, including school faculty, who were very engaged and asked career-oriented questions of employees in all sectors of the operation. “Employees did a great job introducing themselves and sharing the experiences that lead them to their current positions,” said Jeremy Smith, Mini-Cassia Maintenance Manager. “Employees also described their job duties and what it took to get there.”
The visit included a showing of How Sugar is Made from Sugarbeets, which shows how the Mini-Cassia factory processes sugarbeets. After the video, other presentations were made regarding various construction projects at the facility and concluded with a factory tour.