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INDUSTRY, SCHOOL OFFICIALS PROMOTE ENGINEERING TO STUDENTS

Industry leaders expressed a growing concern at a Henderson County Partnership for Economic Development forum in 2012. Although the county's unemployment rate was shrinking, a gap in the skilled workforce was growing .Advancements in technology are making prior innovations obsolete. Filling jobs with skilled laborers was becoming more of a challenge.

But a mere stone's throw away in a new lab at on the campus of Blue Ridge Community College in Flat Rock, high school students were tinkering with a solution – in robotics. They call themselves the "Gorillas," repeating their mantra: "Zip-ties and duct tape because we can" in true MacGyver fashion as they piece together a step toward their dream.

Members of the Gorillas Henderson County FIRST Robotics Team 1225 build robots to compete with students from around the world. One of the students wants to work with prosthetics one day. Another wants to be an aerospace engineer. One wants to go into computer science, and their leader works at BorgWarner.