Jewelry instructor Todd Hawkinson demonstrates jewelry-making techniques to visitors from South Africa.
Southeast Technical jewelry instructor Todd Hawkinson recently played host to a captivated audience of economic development, government and industry representatives from Johannesburg, South Africa, on the Red Wing campus. The visit grew out of Hawkinson’s previous experience working with Hennepin Tech’s Customized Training department, which led the delegation on their visit through Minnesota.
Because the Johannesburg region is uniquely rich with the ideal minerals for making jewelry, the visitors set out to research opportunities for developing this industry back home. In addition to explaining Southeast Technical’s Jewelry Manufacturing & Repair program and providing a tour of the workshop, Hawkinson demonstrated jewelry-making techniques and presented each individual with a pair of handmade earrings, a gift that drew rounds of appreciation.
Economic development, government and industry officials from Johannesburg, South Africa, pose for a group photo in the Red Wing campus's atrium.
Taking numerous photos along the way, the South African visitors also swung by Southeast Technical’s Band Instrument Repair, Violin Repair and Guitar Building & Repair programs and were treated to a brief tour of Red Wing landmarks led by native Red Winger Katie Hardyman, a business relations manager at Southeast Technical.
The visit made a strong impression on Pilisiwe Twala-Tau, Johannesburg’s executive director of community development and wife of Parks Tau, the Mayor of Johannesburg. With an artistic college-age son, Twala-Tau was excited to relay information about studying the jewelry manufacturing trade at Southeast Technical, imparting to college staff upon leaving, “You have a real gem in this school.”