ANDERSON, S.C. (WSPA) – Governor Henry McMaster shook hands Wednesday with more than a dozen businesses from the Upstate who are working to recruit future talent.

“Young people, I have seen the future and you are it. We’re counting on you,” Gov. McMaster said.

5,000 Eighth grade students from Pickens County, Oconee County, and Anderson County were attending the two-day event to see what a career in manufacturing would look like.

Operations manager Adam LeRoy has worked at BASF’s site in Seneca for the last 22 years.

“I felt empowered to be able to help them see how I grew in my profession, for them to have in their future,” LeRoy said.

He said these showcases are vital, so young people can know how they can get involved in the manufacturing industry.

“It was a lot of bright eyes and they were asking a lot of questions outside of their script,” LeRoy said.

The governor said manufacturing is at the heart of South Carolina’s economy.

McMaster made a proclamation, recognizing October as South Carolina manufacturing month.

He addressed the students in the crowd, saying he hoped they would become interested in the industry as the demand grows.

“Today, it is just wide open,” McMaster said. “You used to have to go to a factory somewhere way off to see that kind of equipment that y’all are programming right now. It is a marvelous thing, and there’s no better place to do this than your state.”

This showcase will be held again Thursday from 9 a.m. to Noon.

If you can’t make it, we have all the details here.

Many of the companies at the showcase do not require a college degree to get hired.