BETHANY, W.Va. – Bethany College hosted several area middle school teachers from West Virginia’s Northern Panhandle on campus as they prepare to guide their students through the “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?” video contest.

The educators visited Bethany to learn videography, the rules of the contest, and how to help their students shoot and edit their videos.

Bethany faculty, staff, and students joined Tom Reed, program consultant for Explore the New Manufacturing, in guiding the educators from Brooke, Hancock, Marshall, and Ohio counties.

Adjunct Professor Jon Greiner, Chief Engineer Joe Dumas, and Trejen Franklin, student leader of BCTV14, offered one-on-one editing instruction to the teachers.

“They were definitely key to providing a lot of the real-world examples and helping to fill in the details of what the teachers need to know to help their students,” Reed said.

Senior fellow Jake Gerber and junior fellow Marissa Panfil also assisted with the training session.

Friday’s session was held at the Bethany Broadcasting Network TV studio in the Johnson Visual Arts Center, which was upgraded recently through a grant from the Driehorst Foundation, said Dr. Patrick Sutherland, chair of Communications and Media Arts.

The video contest is an initiative of West Virginia Manufacturers Association Educational Fund, which works to raise awareness and interest in manufacturing careers available in West Virginia, Program Director Monica Cross said.

Reed said he approached Bethany College about hosting the training last year and was happy to return.

Hosting local educators offers more than networking and resume-building opportunities for Bethany students, Sutherland said.

“I think it’s a good outreach not only for our department, but the little community of Bethany, and the college as a whole,” he said.

A Bethany faculty member also will serve as a judge for the video competition.

The manufacturing video contest began last year in the Northern and Eastern panhandles and expanded this year to include five schools in the Kanawha Valley, Cross said.

“We’ve seen a lot growth in the manufacturers who are interested in participating and we’ve seen a lot of growth in the schools that want to participate,” she said. “It’s been really exciting.”

This year’s participating schools are Oak Glen Middle (Hancock County); St. Joseph School in Weirton; Brooke Middle School; Bridge Street Middle School (Ohio County); Sherrard Middle School (Marshall County); and Moundsville Middle School (Marshall County). Each school is paired with one of the following: Homer Laughlin China Co. in Newell; Pietro Fiorentini in Weirton; Eagle Manufacturing in Wellsburg; Mull Group in Wheeling; Tecnocap in Glen Dale; and Ziegenfelder Co. in Wheeling.

Five of the schools were represented at Friday’s training session.

Each team of students – mostly eighth graders – is paired with a local manufacturer to visit. The students will then create a video about the business.

The students are asked to promote their videos through a social media campaign, Cross said. The videos are judged regionally in three categories: best manufacturing message, most creative, and viewers’ choice. The winners are announced at a dinner in the spring.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for young people to be actively involved about informing their peers about the types of careers that are available and the things that are made in West Virginia,” Reed said.


Bethany College, founded in 1840, is the oldest private college in West Virginia. The Bethany experience focuses on academic excellence in the area of liberal arts and prepares students for a lifetime of work and a life of significance.