Students from three Grayson County high schools will be given the chance to start working toward potential manufacturing careers with a new competition designed to target those in the Advanced Manufacturing Program.

The Swap it Up program is a competition being organized by the Sherman Economic Development Corp. in conjunction with the three chambers of commerce in the towns with schools participating in the program. Those schools are Sherman High School, Pottsboro High School and Whitesboro High School. The new competition begins Wednesday.

Last week the students broke into AMP teams and began selecting the non-profits they wish to work toward benefiting. The students will be given an item of value they can trade to one of the partner businesses for a more valuable item.

The goal is to trade for items each non-profit listed on their needs list, which was submitted to the students. Then the students can chose to attempt to trade the item they receive from the first business to another business for a more valuable item and so on until the competition ends on Oct. 24. The students will be able to trade with businesses that are members of the Sherman, Pottsboro, Whitesboro and Denison chambers.

“There is no limit to how many trades a business can make with the teams,” SEDCO Director of Research & Marketing Ashton Ghaemi, who organized the program, said. “The more they trade, the more promotion they will receive. The students are very excited. I know the Pottsboro team has said they were going to try hard to get the Denison Animal Welfare Group a van. They seem very motivated by that.”

Ghaemi said the Whitesboro team selected Your Neighbor’s House, a local non-profit food pantry serving the Whitesboro community.

“They chose to support one in their community,” Ghaemi said. “We thought that was really awesome.”

Sherman High’s group chose Goodwill Industries of North Texas as the non-profit it would be trading for.

The students will take pictures of their trades then post those to the Swap it Up Facebook page. At the end of the program, the student team with the most valuable traded item will win the competition. The winners will receive a tablet and a trophy.

The Denison Animal Welfare Group’s needs list includes cleaning supplies like bleach, floor cleaner, disinfecting wipes, etc., kuranda beds, paper towels, blankets and towels, enrichment toys, a van to transport dogs every month to shelters up north, donors and funds for a new shelter, social media engagement and volunteers.

Goodwill Industries of North Texas’s needs list include copy paper, copier toner, cleaning supplies, tagger guns, dollies, printer ink, T-shirts, shopping carts, showcases, racks for shoes, computers, printers, a paint buffer for floors, cash registers, fork lifts and a van to transport clients.

Your Neighbors House Food Pantry & Thrift Store’s needs list includes volunteers, canned soup, canned meat, cereal or oatmeal, juices of any kind, trash cans 32 gallon or larger size on wheels, tree trimming and clean up around its facility, window air conditioning units removed and repairs to the openings, water hydrant, new checkout counter and new flooring for an office bathroom.