The students from Pottsboro High School are currently leading a competition between local Advanced Manufacturing Program students designed to help meet the needs of local nonprofits.


The Swap it Up competition was organized by the Sherman Economic Development Corp. in conjunction with the chambers of commerce in the towns with schools with AMP classes participating in the program — Sherman, Pottsboro and Whitesboro. AMP got off the ground in 2016 and is currently comprised of 30 area industrial employers, as well as SEDCO; Workforce Solutions Texoma; the Denison Development Alliance; Grayson College; and the four high schools of Sherman, Denison, Pottsboro, and Whitesboro. The program begins with sophomore students, who undergo a year of classes at their respective campuses before moving on as juniors and seniors to hands-on work at Grayson College and an internship with an employer.


“I don’t have all of the trades in, but we’re in week four and Pottsboro is in the lead at a $500 value,” SEDCO Director of Research & Marketing Ashton Ghaemi, who organized the program, said. “Whitesboro is in second at $200 and Sherman is in third at $180. That can always fluctuate — it’ll only take one trade to flop that around.”


The program’s goal is to trade for items each nonprofit listed on its needs list, which was submitted to the students. The students attempt to trade the item they receive from businesses 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.


The Pottsboro High team selected the Denison Animal Welfare Group, the Whitesboro High team selected food pantry Your Neighbor’s House and Sherman High’s group chose Goodwill Industries of North Texas.


“They’re just doing a great job,” Ghaemi said.


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 winning team and trades will be announced Oct. 26 at noon at the Center for Workplace Learning Auditorium at Grayson College.


Ghaemi said it’s not too late for any businesses wishing to participate in the program and she can put potential traders in touch with the student groups.


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, forklifts 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.