CRC Youth Council Focuses on Real-Life Work Experiences

Hides are transformed into high-end leather for global brands at Wickett & Craig. (Source:

Chuck Gardner, Staff Writer

Recently, the CRC Youth Council went on a field trip to Wickett & Craig, which is a leather factory, and BD&D Fabrication, which is a very successful metal fabrication factory. Both factories are located behind the Curwensville High School in the industrial park. The idea of this field trip was to give CRC Youth Council members a real-life experience outside of the high school.

Mr. Lytle, advisor to the youth council, gave a description of each factory and some of the benefits of both saying, “Most people don’t realize the quantity and quality of the leather that comes from Wickett & Craig in Curwensville.  It is high-end leather that is used by companies like Filson, Ralph Lauren, and other designer hand-bag companies.  It was an eye-opening experience for all of us.  The process of taking a raw cowhide that comes in folded on a pallet with the hair still attached and processing it into shiny, smooth dyed leather is a dirty and smelly process.  Those were probably some of the first observations that the students made when entering the plant.  By the end of the tour, many of the students had an appreciation for the amount of manual labor, multiple steps, and the skill associated with the entire process.”

When reflecting on the field trip, Mr. Lytle mentioned, “The field trip was a beneficial experience for a number of reasons.  We saw some potential career opportunities in our own backyard and we got an idea of what skills/education are required in order to be able to work in those facilities. We found two locations that have a world-wide reach and it is the skill and work ethic of local workers who make that possible.”

The CRC Youth Council is a council that benefits the young and ambitious kids who are involved in it, giving them real-life applications to the world even before they have graduated high school. The ultimate goal is that by giving these students access to some unique and, otherwise unknown, experiences they will be able to help create a better sense of pride and identity in what Clearfield is.

The CRC Youth Council usually meets once a month in the evenings but visited the two locations during the day so they were able to see the companies while they were in operation during normal working hours.