JUST™ Beverages LLC has a simple message for local high school seniors interested in science and technical careers: You don’t need to leave home to change the world.
JUST hosted high school students enrolled in the New Visions Engineering Program at its Glens Falls headquarters to expose them to engineering careers and connect them with possible future job opportunities.
“All over the U.S., there’s this sense that you need to go somewhere else to find opportunity and make your mark,” JUST Chief Operating Officer Jim Siplon told the students. “What I want you all to know is, you don’t have to leave your hometown to change the world. The great innovations that are happening in places like Silicon Valley or Austin, Texas, are happening right here, too. And you can be a part of that.”
Launched this year, JUST Beverages packages 100% Adirondack spring water for sale nationwide. The water is contained in a package that is 53% paper, sourced from responsibly managed forests. The water is drawn from the City of Glens Falls watershed in the Town of Queensbury. JUST purchases the water from the City of Glens Falls at six times the rate paid by other customers, providing significant revenue to the community to support infrastructure investment and water conservation initiatives.
JUST renovated a former church at 31 Broad St. to serve as its modern packaging facility and headquarters. As students toured the facility, they learned about a variety of engineering disciplines and how those disciplines were needed to turn JUST Water from an idea into brand that’s now found in all 50 states and Canada.
For the students, touring the plant was a case study in the kinds of opportunities that are available — from the structural engineers that were part of the rehabilitation of JUST’s headquarters to the packaging engineers behind the innovative JUST Water package.
Daniel W. Kittell, the New Visions Engineering Instructor at the Southern Adirondack Education Center in Hudson Falls, said site visits like the one to JUST are a big part of the hands-on program. His students, all seniors, visit at least two companies a month, exposing them to engineering concepts, internship opportunities and professional engineers.
The site visits are a win-win for both students and companies, Kittell said.
“These students will be going to the top engineering schools. What these site visits do is expose them to a range of companies and job opportunities. This is about building a talent pipeline between local companies and the students who will be graduating from college in a few years.”
Siplon offered a challenge to the students: Start innovating today, either as interns at local companies or as entrepreneurs developing their own ideas.
"You don’t have to wait to get your degree,” he said. “You can start now.”
Click here for more information on the New Visions Engineering program.