Students of the Finley Junior High School career planning class took a field trip to Magnablend’s Specialty Service Complex on Tuesday, Nov. 18. The trip consisted of a tour of the facility, located at 233 Hoyt Road in Waxahachie, and hands-on experiments in the lab to learn about the inner workings of the manufacturing industry.

Making their way off the bus, students began filing into the lobby area of the main building of the complex. Waiting to greet them were several supervisors and Specialty Service Complex Plant Manager Donnie Lord. Also waiting to greet them was President/CEO of Magnablend Scott Pendery.

“I want to thank you guys so much for being here,” Pendery exclaimed. “Today you’re going to learn about the manufacturing and chemical business that is Magnablend.”

Continuing, Pendery educated the students about what was housed in the building before his company bought the property. He talked about the Superconductor Super Collider, its mission and why it failed. He then told them that the reason they chose to call this particular plant the Specialty Service Complex was so they could continue to refer to it as “the SSC.”

Lord welcomed the students to the SSC campus and instructed them on what they should expect from their tour.

“We are so glad all of you are here this morning,” Lord expressed. “At the start of every new workday we gather all of our employees and discuss the importance of safety.”

Lord instructed the students that when working in a factory such as Magnablend, there are strict safety rules to follow or someone could be seriously hurt. 

On hand to discuss the safety rules that the students needed to follow was Jamal Haider. Haider is a chemical engineer for the company and serves as safety coordinator.

“You were given the two most important pieces of safety equipment when you arrived on our site,” Haider said directing his statements to the students. “The first item we need to talk about are the safety glasses you were issued. It is important to understand that when you work in this sort of facility your eyes always need to be protected.”

The next point made by Haider was the value they place on wearing safety gloves.

“We deal with many types of chemicals here,” he said. “You don’t want to touch something that could be dangerous to your skin. And the gloves will protect you and keep that from happening.”

He also instructed the students that throughout the tour they must follow the marked pathways, which is another way of keeping them safe.

Lord inserted that the employees don’t just talk about safety, but they also engross in morning exercises. He said the reason for that is to ensure that the employees’ minds and bodies are alert so they can effectively do their job.

After an extensive tour of the property guided by Supervisor Mike Taylor and Floor Supervisor Lane Turner, the students participated in several laboratory experiments.