Program Designed to Expand Knowledge of Manufacturing, Improve Public Perception of Manufacturing Career Opportunities

In celebration of Manufacturing Day 2017, the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce is partnering with area manufacturers as part of an effort to change perceptions about today’s manufacturing environment and highlight the outstanding opportunities that a career in manufacturing can provide.

Now in its third consecutive year, the number of participants in the local event has grown steadily from 75 students in the first year to nearly 300 students that are expected to take part on Oct. 5.

“Manufacturing Day is a call to action for our community,” said Rhetta Hunyady, Vice President of Education & Training for the Flint & Genesee Chamber. “And we’re thrilled that interest in the event here continues to grow.”

National Manufacturing Day is an annual event executed at the local level supported by thousands of manufacturers as they host students, teachers, parents, job seekers and other local community members at open houses, plant tours and presentations designed to showcase modern manufacturing technology and careers.

In Flint & Genesee, students from 10 high schools will visit local manufacturers to learn more about the variety of opportunities available in the manufacturing sector. Participating schools: Flint Northwestern, Flint Southwestern, International Academy of Flint, Carman-Ainsworth, Flushing, Davison, Montrose, Clio, Lakeville and Bendle.

Manufacturing partners: Logofit, Signarama, Signs by Crannie, Liberty Fabricating, Fernco, Rassini Brakes, Pioneer Cabinetry, Android Industries, Genesee Packaging, Barrette Outdoor Signs, Epic Technology Solutions, Landaal Packaging Systems, TMI Climate Solutions, Mid-Michigan Recycling and Webcor Packaging.

The program includes:

  • Physical facility tour.
  • Discussion of the types of job opportunities at the host company and within the industry.
  • Opportunities to speak with staff responsible for different career areas at the host company, such as production, supervision, estimating, financial and engineering.
  • Training and education required for the different types of jobs.

“There is an increasing demand for highly skilled professionals in the manufacturing sector who can design, program and operate technology,” said Hunyady. “This isn’t just informational. Manufacturing Day allows companies to show students in a meaningful way the kinds of opportunities that are available while providing insight into today’s manufacturing environment.”

Nearly 3.5 million manufacturing jobs will need to be filled nationally over the next decade, according to the 2015 Skills Gap Report by the Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute. However, as many as 2 million of those jobs may go unfilled, the report concludes.

“There are two major contributing factors to the widening gap – baby boomer retirements and economic expansion. … In addition to retirements and economic expansion, other factors contribute to the shortage of skilled workforce, including loss of embedded knowledge due to movement of experienced workers, a negative image of the manufacturing industry among younger generations, lack of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) skills among workers, and a gradual decline of technical education programs in public high schools,” according to the report.