MANUFACTURING MONTH SPOTLIGHTS WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT EFFORTS & BENEFITS IN A GROWING INDUSTRY
October is ‘Manufacturing Month’ for all of the skilled innovators and creators, who constitute the heart of this amazing industry. While we typically flourish in a fast-paced work environment, this month reminds us to take a moment to reflect on our own unique experiences. Manufacturing month also encourages the evaluation of how manufacturing is currently perceived and what is being done for workforce development.
As the Business Development Specialist for a small manufacturer [Carey Manufacturing in Cromwell, CT] – I represent our business at manufacturing and career fairs across the state of Connecticut. I also create a company newsletter that goes out internally each month. Both of these experiences give me the opportunity to learn what a career in manufacturing means to all different people. Everyone has their own story; whether they are an immigrant with a long family history in this industry or a young member of the community who is looking for a way to make a life for themselves. I have heard of a single mother going from living off of un-employment checks each month, to establishing a profitable career path and purchasing her first home. This industry not only opens doors, but also brings people together from diverse backgrounds and gives them the opportunity to create something together!
In today’s society many parents and children alike, feel that a university and bachelors’ program is the only option post-secondary education. They are contrasting the idea of an impressive campus and shiny 4-year degree with a dark and dirty factory; a reputation set by the industrial revolution. The reality of today’s manufacturing industry is that it is clean, bright and filled with leading edge technology and machinery. Manufacturing also offers machinists competitive wages with opportunities to climb the ladder throughout your career.
So, when it comes down to it you must ask yourself if you would actually be better suited towards taking on a trade in the manufacturing industry. Having the opportunity to speak with students as young as five years old spanning to young adults, there seems to be a commonality in what leads them to choose this path. It begins as a young child in a robotics program where they can recognize a likeness for creativity and creation. As students get older, they take that initial spark for innovation and realize that in manufacturing, you are a part of something larger than yourself when you hold the ability to create something. Many also enjoy the ability to tangibly see what was accomplished at the end of the day. Finally, as young adults who are facing the reality of fiscal responsibility, they realize that these traits that they have can transition into learning a trade that will allow them to build a successful life for themselves.
This process doesn’t just happen on it’s own. Manufacturers have teamed up with educators all over the country to support workforce development. With a graying workforce, our industry needs young, up and coming manufacturers more than ever! This is achieved when local manufacturers sit on a coalition of advisory boards with local technical schools and programs to communicate the needs of our industry. Through this initiative, students are trained with the competitive skills to land that job out of school. It is also achieved through opening up our factory floors for students to tour and also offering apprenticeships under experienced toolmakers. A variety of programs and events are hosted in order to get manufacturers out in front of students and parents to show them first hand how this is a great path for many. Overall, manufacturing month is a wonderful opportunity to spotlight the strengths of an industry that we are incredibly proud to be a part of.
By Cierra Green – Business Development Specialist – 10.29.2020
Carey Manufacturing – 5 Pasco Hill Road, Cromwell , CT 06416 – 866-813-0220 – email@example.com