Representatives from nearly 45 area businesses joined 450 students from area high schools and middle schools recently at Northwest State Community College in Archbold for Manufacturing Day 2017 to present facets of their businesses and show how the sector has evolved over the past decade.
“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 NSCC.
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,” she said.
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 the area – everything from engineering, science, and skilled trades to finance, accounting, and marketing.
They also watched informative panel discussions, moderated by WNDH-FM’s Dave Kleck. 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 NSCC, 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.