On November 15, 2022, students from East Forsyth and Lambert High Schools from Forsyth County participated in a tour of King’s Hawaiian Bread Company in Oakland, Georgia. Community liaison Mr. Terry Spicer conducted the tour and provided background information about the company. This location is the second in the US, serving the eastern part of the United States. All participants were provided with hairnets, headsets, hard hats and white jackets to prepare for the tour. The students were then shown the ingredients storage area and were taught how they are mixed and then cut into small rounds. The ingredients are then placed in a special coated box, baked in giant ovens, packaged in plastic, and finally packed in large cardboard boxes for distribution to grocery stores. Throughout the tour, students were able to see employees conduct quality control at each phase of the process. The highlight for the students was at the end of the baking process when we were able to sample hot rolls with melted butter! Upon returning from the tour, students had an opportunity to ask more questions regarding the process, future expansion for the company, and various other questions. Mr. Spicer commented that he had not received the caliber of questions from any previous group, even college or community groups, and was impressed with the inquiries from these students. He expressed that he originally thought that they might have been prepped with questions but was informed that these students were genuinely curious and inquired about the information they wanted to know more about. We learned that this plant is expanding and will open a second phase next year. Students from Forsyth were very interested and may be King’s Hawaiian employees in the future.
The Georgia High School High Tech Program is a comprehensive community-based program providing youth with disabilities a link to academic and career-development experiences that enable them to successfully meet the workforce demands of the 21st century.