#452. Manufacturing Day Follow-up

Posted on | The Agurban

Manufacturing Day Follow-up

Last Friday, October 4, 2013, was celebrated as the 2nd Annual Manufacturing Day. The day was set aside to showcase the importance of manufacturing to the nation’s economy and draw attention to the many high-skill jobs in this field. We asked how other communities might be celebrating the day, and we received a couple of great examples.

Gene Fogle, Industrial Workforce Coordinator for the DeKalb Ogle County (IL) Workforce Consortium, sent the following:   In order to draw attention to the highly skilled jobs in manufacturing, the high schools of Rochelle, DeKalb, Genoa and Sycamore are participating in the 1st Annual “Heavy Metal Tour.”  The Tour allows 134 high school students to go through eight area manufacturing sites.  Following the business site tours, the students then peruse the Kishwaukee College Career Tech Wing and have lunch.  The HMT is part of a pilot program conceived by the DeKalb/Ogle Workforce Development Consortium to introduce students to area businesses, in an attempt to build the workforce of tomorrow and beyond.

Vicki Haugen, President and CEO of Vermilion Advantage (Danville, IL), sent information about their 1st Annual Tour of Industries held on August 24, 2013. They have even established a website, www.madeinvermilioncounty.com, for the event. In regards to the August 24th event, their website states: The 1st Annual Tour of Industries was a HUGE success. Hundreds discovered the intricacies of automation and robotics. They learned about the world of mechatronics. They saw with their own eyes the precision of production. They learned about the almost 6,000 careers in Vermilion County, Illinois that are directly attributable to the world of advanced manufacturing, representing over 19% of our entire employed labor force.

Comments and survey results from the Vermilion County Tour of Industries showed the need for continued education about the local industry and the high-skilled jobs available. According to a survey completed after the tour, nearly 85% of participants strongly agreed that they “have a positive impression of manufacturing after this tour”; 88% strongly agreed that they were “impressed and surprised by the level of technology used in manufacturing”; and 86% strongly agreed that “because of what I learned and saw on this tour, I would not hesitate to encourage a family member or friend to be interested in a career/job at one of the manufacturers.”

Thank you, Gene and Vicki, for sharing your events with us! Today’s manufacturing is high-skilled, high-tech and looking for workers!!