Why You Should Participate in Manufacturing Day at the InTech Center
By Natalie Weaver
When looking to the future, many manufacturers are more than a little worried – with good reason. The Manufacturing Institute estimates that by the year 2025, 2.7 million baby boomers will retire and 700,000 manufacturing jobs will have been created from economic expansion. As a result, more than 3.4 million jobs are likely to be needed over the next decade, with only an estimated 1.4 million positions to be filled.
Manufacturers are scrambling to find individuals who can replace their aging workforce and keep up with rapidly changing technology. But with a very real skills gap and negative perceptions of the sector, employers are struggling to fill their positions with qualified workers. So, manufacturers have developed a way to approach new generations right from the beginning – by showcasing their products and skillsets to junior high and high school students who are still discovering what path they want to take in their lives.
Manufacturing Day takes place nationally on the first Friday in October every year – this year, it will be October 6, 2017. According the Manufacturing Day website, the day was created by Founding Partner Fabricators and Manufacturers Association, International in 2012, and “is designed to amplify the voice of individual manufacturers and coordinate a collective chorus of manufacturers with common concerns and challenges.” The purpose of the day is for manufacturers to “address the skilled labor shortage they face, connect with future generations, take charge of the public image of manufacturing, and ensure the ongoing prosperity of the whole industry.”
Students may be surprised to discover that many of their favorite brands have manufacturing and distribution facilities located right here in southern California. And despite manufacturing being labeled as a “blue collar job,” most positions pay rather lucratively, with many opportunities to utilize STEM methods.
The Industrial Technical Learning Center (InTech Center), located in Fontana, CA, is a technical and vocational training facility that has partnered with local employers, colleges and associations to bring Inland Empire junior high and high school students to the InTech Center to highlight the benefits of working in the manufacturing industry. Over 1,200 students are expected to attend, where they will go on a facility tour and see firsthand what local manufacturers have to offer. Companies present include California Steel Industries, Vital Link, Lincoln Electric, Spray-Tech/Junair, H&A Transmissions, Evolution Fresh, Fabtech Motorsports and Brithinee Electric. In addition, representatives from Chaffey College, Norco College, San Bernardino Valley College, Manufacturers’ Council of the Inland Empire (MCIE) and the International Facility Management Association (IFMA) will be in attendance.
Manufacturing Day at the InTech Center will expose hundreds of students to new career paths they never would have thought possible. If you are a manufacturer interested in participating in this event and meeting potential future employees, please contact Chaffey College Business Liaison, Melissa Milton, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (714) 393-5011.