With her poster depicting a conveyor belt moving industries into Georgia, Bethany Boyer, a William James Middle School seventh-grader, captured the statewide grades 6-8 prize in the 2017 Manufacturing Appreciation Week Student Design Competition.
Bethany, 13-year-old daughter of Forrest and Mary Boyer of Statesboro, received a $500 monetary award and has been invited, as have the winning elementary school artist and high school artist, to the annual Georgia Manufacturing Appreciation Week luncheon April 27. Gov. Nathan Deal is slated to recognize the student winners, as well as industries chosen as Georgia’s Manufacturers of the Year, at the Georgia International Convention Center in Atlanta.
“This is the first winner we’ve had from our service delivery area,” said Jan Moore, vice president of economic development for Ogeechee Technical College.
Moore, who is also the mayor of Statesboro, surprised Boyer last week in William James Middle School’s media center, where family and friends were gathered to congratulate the young artist.
Each year Ogeechee Tech submits both a Manufacturer of the Year nominee and student design competition entries to the Technical College System of Georgia. The technical college system, the Georgia Association of Manufacturers, Georgia Power and the Georgia Institute of Technology sponsor Manufacturing Appreciation Week and its competitions.
Besides the central conveyor with silhouetted workers handling images of Kia, Hostess, Frito Lay and Dart, Boyer’s poster depicts agricultural products, including fruit, vegetables, peanuts and cotton. Logos on buildings in the background represent Georgia Power and other companies with a Georgia presence, including Honda; Home Depot; Gulfstream Aerospace, based near Savannah; and Briggs & Stratton, whose Georgia engine factory is in Statesboro and Bulloch County’s Gateway Regional Industrial Park.
“We are so excited for Bethany, Bulloch County Schools and our community,” said Kathleen Kosmoski, OTC continuing education and industry training director.
WJMS art teacher Autumn Horton encouraged her students and Art Club members to participate in the contest.
“Bethany is a member of our Art Club, and I am so proud of her,” Horton said.
“I love to draw,” Boyer said. “I’m not quite sure how to spend the money.”
Kindergarten through 12th-grade students were asked to submit entries depicting the “importance of manufacturing to their lives and communities.”
Manufacturing Appreciation Week, April 24-28, is intended to draw attention to Georgia’s more than 9,400 industries, estimated to provide about 400,000 jobs.