By Maria Zardis
For the third year in a row, students from throughout Macomb County visited an area plant for Manufacturing Day (MFG Day) to learn about the industry and the careers it offers. Thanks to the willingness of 57 manufacturers who offered tours, an estimated 2,100 students participated.
Host sites range in size from the very large to the very small and include a variety of sectors including those that develop automated systems; make components or produce ready for market consumer goods.
MFG Day is a national campaign designed to provide the public with a better understanding of what they industry is all about while connecting with the next generation of our workforce.
“A job in manufacturing today is a lot different from the ones our grandfathers held,” said John Paul Rea, Director of the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development. “Our research shows that the average employee in the industry earns more than $70,000 per year in wages and benefits.”
The department became involved in this effort to expose the next generation of our workforce to the industry because of expressed concerns by manufacturers that not enough young people were coming forward to apply for open jobs. The average worker in the skilled trades is 55 years old. It is imperative that the talent pipeline provides an ongoing flow of capable candidates.
The event is and has been coordinated by the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development and the Macomb Intermediate School District. With the help of high school building principals, guidance counselors and teachers, students from every school had an opportunity to participate.
This year, students also have an opportunity to enter a video contest to tell the story of MFG Day. The winning team will win $1,000 for their school, individual gift cards and a chance to tour Detroit Public Television’s studio in Wixom.
Top sponsors of the event are Dominion Technologies, Dynamic Plastics, Fisher Company, Fori Automation, Futuramic Tool & Engineering, L&L Products, Proper Group International. PTI Engineered Plastics and WICO Metal Products. Additional sponsors include Advancing Macomb, AIM Computer Solutions, Baker Industries, Brose Jefferson, Inc., GM – Warren Transmission, LumaSmart, Michigan Works! Young Professionals, Paslin, RCO Engineering, and Sequoia Tool.
As a follow-up to MFG Day, a “Careers in Manufacturing & Technology Expo” will be held at Macomb Community College on Thursday, Oct 20 from 5:30 – 8 p.m. The event will feature hands-on exhibits and opportunities to speak with individuals who have built a successful career in the industry. A personal 3D printer will be given as a door prize for those that pre-register