Students get close-up look at manufacturing careers


About 100 Champaign County high school students will tour six local manufacturing facilities Friday, Oct. 7, which is being observed across the country as Manufacturing Day.

The students also will gather for a working lunch at Urbana University. There they will participate in work stations supervised by four local manufacturers to simulate manufacturing processes.

“Manufacturing Day allows students to see up close the exciting manufacturing career opportunities that are available in our community,” said Jill O’Neal, human resources manager at WEIDMANN Electrical Technology in Urbana. O’Neal is a member of the Champaign County Manufacturing Human Resources Council and is a board member of the Champaign Economic Partnership (CEP), which have planned the Manufacturing Day activities with all local school districts, Ohio Hi-Point Career Center, Urbana University, the Champaign County Manufacturing Council and the participating manufacturers.

“I thank everyone who has worked together to make this day possible for the students,” said Marcia Bailey, CEP director.

Manufacturing Day is sponsored across the nation by the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association International, the National Association of Manufacturers and the Manufacturing Extension Partnership.

Debbie Wortman, satellite director for Ohio Hi-Point and school liaison for Manufacturing Day, said, “We’re bringing manufacturing and education together to build a stronger relationship and create a greater awareness among students of the job opportunities available and the skills and training needed for today’s manufacturing environment. In these tours they’ll see well organized, clean facilities that are excellent places to work.”

About 40 of the students participating in the Manufacturing Day tours are from the Advanced Manufacturing program offered by Ohio Hi-Point at Triad Local Schools. Students from Graham, Mechanicsburg and Urbana high schools also will participate.

Students will tour Bundy Baking Solutions, the Hall Company, Honeywell Aerospace, ORBIS Corporation, Rittal and WEIDMANN. Each student will tour two manufacturing facilities, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. In between, the students will meet at Urbana University to participate in work stations led by representatives of Honeywell, Rittal, the Hall Company and KTH Parts Industries. In addition, students will be given time to share with the whole group what they learned on their tours and work station projects.

Manufacturers to be honored

In conjunction with Manufacturing Day, the CEP will host a Manufacturers Celebration Breakfast at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 12, at the Champaign County Community Center auditorium, 1512 S. U.S. 68, Urbana.

“At the breakfast, we will honor our local manufacturing businesses and thank them for their tremendous contributions to making Champaign County a better place to live and providing local residents rewarding jobs,” Bailey said.

She said that manufacturing employment is on the rise. Local manufacturers employ nearly 4,000 and are in need of more skilled employees.

“Through efforts like our Manufacturing Day tours and partnerships with local schools, we are preparing the next generation for manufacturing careers and ensuring the future success of local industry,” Bailey said.

Oct. 7 is Manufacturing Day; students to tour local plants

Submitted story

Submitted by the Champaign Economic Partnership.

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