Local students recently participated in the 2016 Manufacturing Day Tour in Fayette County to learn more about the industry and how they could find work there once they graduate.
There is increasing need for a skilled and educated workforce among our local manufacturers. There is also a lack of a substantial talent pool in the community, according to Godwin Apaliyah, OSU Extension Educator and community development director for Fayette County Economic Development. The majority of students in our community have had limited exposure to a modern manufacturing environment, technology and careers or the various functions located therein.
The primary goals of the program are to, one, introduce students to the modern-day manufacturing industry and, two, make freshmen grade students aware of the abundance of opportunities available in the manufacturing industry and particularly those in Fayette County.
“We appreciate the opportunity and the businesses opening their doors for our students to witness and explore just what we have in our community and the different areas it involves,” said Kim Pittser, Miami Trace Assistant Superintendent. “This is the second year and we spend two days doing it because if we tried to take all 200 students on one day, it can get overwhelming. So we take half of them one day and then take the other half two days later. We appreciate the coordination between our transportation department and the Ohio Extension Office with Godwin and his people supporting us financially and paying for the transportation costs. There is a lot that goes into getting students off campus and it was well worth it.”
Students were provided a brief overview of the industry. This includes what manufacturing facilities are really like these days, what the companies located in the Fayette community make and who they sell to, what kinds of jobs are available in manufacturing and what skills and education are needed to qualify for today’s manufacturing jobs.
The employer gave students a brief overview of their respective organizations and the products they manufacture. This included the company story, dispelling outdated myths about manufacturing, how they inspire a new generation of manufacturers, how they connect with potential customers in the community, how they learn about manufacturing extension partnership that can improve the efficiency and work skills, and the companies also talked about their profits.
Businesses that participated in the tour were YUSA Corporation, WCR Incorporated, Ritens Industries (one visit), Sugar Creek Packing, Wingate Packaging, and Domtar Paper (one visit).
“I think that the reason for getting the students out was two-fold,” Katie Abbot, secondary curriculum director 6-12 for Miami Trace, said. “I think there was a great application for our students in seeing what is available in terms of career opportunities in Fayette County for when they graduate high school. So getting out there and seeing what manufacturing looks like in today’s world and hopefully dispel some of those misconceptions that are continuing to be out there. I think that really getting a face for the manufacturing businesses was an important part of this and furthermore, I think we were able to have some of the employers talk to the students about what are some of those skills they are going to need to be employed after they graduate.”
Reach Martin Graham at (740) 313-0351 or on Twitter @MartiTheNewsGuy