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Recent Industry Events Inspire Gen Z Students

This spring, advanced manufacturing companies and associated partners in the IMTS community are sponsoring events to promote the great careers in manufacturing technology to high school students and their teachers.
Jun 14, 2022

This spring, advanced manufacturing companies and associated partners in the IMTS community – from large OEMs like United Grinding in Southwest Ohio to community colleges in Nebraska – are sponsoring events to promote the great careers in manufacturing technology to high school students and their teachers.

Grinders and Smoothies at United Grinding Student Open House

Cool. Organized. Fun. Lit. Generous. Sleek. These are some of the words students and teachers used to describe United Grinding’s open house tour of its high-tech industrial facility in Miamisburg, Ohio, about 10 miles south of Dayton.

AMT member and IMTS exhibitor United Grinding (booth: 236802) hosted nearly 200 high school students and their teachers, taking them on a tour with a dozen stations to hear employees from various departments – logistics and shipping, service engineering, customer care, sales, marketing, IT and human resources – share the skills they use, describe their careers, and answer questions.

The tour ended in United Grinding’s showroom, where students really began to interact more with the staff as they tried measuring, grinding, and peering into some of the firm’s high-tech machines. But the young visitor faces lit up when they were offered an assortment of freshly made fruit smoothies and snacks.

“We have a huge, collective responsibility to educate, inform, and engage the next generation of workers in our industry,” says Markus Stolmar, president and CEO, United Grinding North America. “That’s why we hosted a spring MFG Day and engage partners in the community, such as the Dayton Region Manufacturers Association, Montgomery County Educational Services Center, schools at the local and regional level, and working on a national – even global – level with partners like AMT to make sure the future of our industry is bright.”

Dayton Region Manufacturers Association (DRMA) and the Montgomery County Educational Services Centerhelped connect the schools with United Grinding.

“We were excited to work with DRMA member United Grinding to launch MFG Day Spring Edition to grow the manufacturing workforce pipeline,” says Angelia Erbaugh, DRMA president. “Almost 200 high school students attended to see the vast array of careers in contemporary manufacturing – from high-skill technical positions, like precision machining and industrial engineering, to ‘front office’ positions in accounting, human resources, and sales.”

“Coming from a Career-Tech Center with an Advanced Manufacturing and Robotics Program, you have a solid understanding when walking into United Grinding,” says Yvonne Kaszubowski, workforce development coordinator for Warren County Career Center. “However, there are always things you learn, specifically by talking to the United Grinding employees and hearing about their work and life journey. It was so interesting to hear many of them say they had been all over the world getting to use innovative and problem-solving skills! What came into focus even more from this visit was the opportunities a company like United Grinding provides: a super clean, safe, beautiful environment with the opportunity to travel and utilize in-demand skills while making great money. It doesn't get any better than that!”

"It’s really cool to think about how the parts of a plane I’ve flown or will fly have been made on machines like the ones here,” says one Dayton-area high school girl who is also enrolled in an Air Force JROTC and Advanced Manufacturing and Machining program and plans to study engineering and be a pilot.

From an Apprentice’s Perspective

In May, McHenry County College (MCC), in Crystal Lake, Illinois, hosted an Apprenticeship Open House. Manufacturing Pathways Consortium member Crystal Click from Fabrik Molded Plastics discussed the perks of apprenticeship programs for both the student and the local manufacturer.

One of their current apprentices also shared his experience with the program and showed off MCC's Manufacturing Lab. Manufacturing Pathways Consortium connects industries with potential employees to continue developing the necessary skills to succeed in the recruiting, hiring, and onboarding processes within manufacturing.

Inspiring Smart Manufacturing in the Cornhusker State

Nebraska Chamber of Commerce & Industry and Consolidated Electrical Distributors Inc. welcomed more than 300 people to their Manufacturing Nebraska's Future event in May at Central Community College in Columbus, Nebraska.

Attended by 100 students, manufacturing executives, business owners, higher education officials, plant managers, technicians, engineers, and members of Women in Manufacturing Nebraska Chapter, the day-long event focused on recognizing the importance of elevating smart manufacturing practices state-wide to ensure Nebraska’s manufacturing industry thrives. Students were treated to the college’s advanced manufacturing classrooms. The event’s keynote featured Scott Volk, vice president of MetalQuest, a precision machining company and subject of the IMTS 2022 Find Us ad campaign.

Hosting an open house or special event for students? Share it with us at Content@IMTS.com.

Smartforce Student Summit at IMTS 2022

Looking for a manufacturing technology event to inspire the next generation of manufacturers? Bring students to the Smartforce Student Summit at IMTS 2022, where they will experience creative problem solving, teamwork, and the modern technology that makes all things – from bikes and blenders to e-vehicles and spacecrafts. Aimed at encouraging positive perceptions of manufacturing, dozens of IMTS exhibitors will host hands-on activities at the summit, which takes place during IMTS 2022, Sept. 12-17, in McCormick Place. Visit IMTS.com/Smartforce.

Kathy Keyes Webster
Managing Editor – Content
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