Four hundred fifty students from area high schools and middle schools arrived at Northwest State Community College, perhaps with varying preconceived notions of what manufacturing is, or at least what it used to be. Manufacturing Day, recently held at the College, sought to positively change those opinions and show how the sector has evolved over the past decade. Joining those students were representatives from nearly 45 area businesses, each presenting the exciting facets of their businesses and interacting with the students as part of the day’s activities.
“Manufacturing Day is a nationwide celebration, inspiring the next generation and promoting in-demand career opportunities,” said Tori Wolf, account manager for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) at Northwest State. Wolf, who organized the event with the support of area economic development and community improvement leaders, saw an increase in school participation from previous years. “Based on previous attendance, we initially estimated 300 or so students, but we ended up with nearly 500. It shows the importance of manufacturing in our area and the renewed commitment of area schools to give students exposure to what (manufacturing) is today – it’s definitely not your grandpa’s factory,” noted Wolf.
Students in attendance were given three questions to answer in a scavenger hunt format. They had to locate the manufacturer and ask the question to complete the task. While browsing the manufacturer displays in the NSCC Atrium, students gained valuable exposure to the variety of career opportunities that exist in our area – everything from engineering, science and skilled trades to finance, accounting and marketing.
Students also watched informative panel discussions, moderated by WNDH-FM’s Dave Kleck. Some of the panel topics included the role of education in career options, daily challenges and opportunities, and individuals’ favorite things about their jobs. The panels were comprised of employees from Sauder Woodworking, CK Technologies, Spangler Candy Company and APT Manufacturing Solutions.
The local Manufacturing Day event was presented as a partnership between Northwest State, Ohio Manufacturing Extension Partnership, Fulton County Economic Development Corporation, Defiance County Economic Development, Williams County Economic Development Corporation, Community Improvement Corporation of Henry County and Paulding County Economic Development, Inc.
Additional information on the nationwide Manufacturing Day celebration is available at http://www.mfgday.com/.