eMacomb - Progress Through Partnerships, Fall 2014
MFG Day 2014 a success in Macomb County
What happens when 31 manufacturers open their plants to host tours for every public high school in Macomb County? 1,246 students learn that manufacturing holds interesting and well paying careers for them!
Manufacturing Day is a national campaign designed to create greater awareness of the important role that manufacturing has on our economy.
Here in Macomb County, there are more than 1,600 businesses related to the industry. These employers provide jobs for more than 66,000 people. According to the Michigan Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary earned by someone in the industry is $68,488 annually.
Across the nation, there is an uptick in manufacturing activity. The end of the Great Recession combined with the will of the people to buy “Made in America” products and increasing challenges with foreign labor markets have created a need for manufacturers to invest, expand and grow.
Here in Macomb County, there has been tremendous growth in the number of available jobs for those with the right skills and aptitude. While institutions like Macomb Community College offer a full spectrum of courses designed to equip job seekers with the skills and credentials they need, there is concern among manufacturers that not enough young people are being exposed to career opportunities in the industry.
One possible solution? Find a way for high school students to see manufacturing in action. Expose them to the good paying, technology-based careers in manufacturing. Coordinate an opportunity for them to meet the people who make things.
Working closely with Mike DeVault, superintendent and Scott Palmer, career technical education consultant for the Macomb Intermediate School District, our first step was to expose district superintendents to today’s manufacturing environment. (See related story)
With resounding support, we assembled a Planning Committee made up of leaders from industry, education and government. Together, this team paved the way for 1,246 students to visit an area plant on Friday, Oct. 3.
Exit interviews completed by students, teachers and plant managers revealed that the day was enlightening and interesting. One of the most significant responses was the number of students who said that the visit inspired them to consider careers in the industry.
The next step is to create greater awareness of the types of jobs offered by the industry and the educational pathways that lead to meaningful careers. “Explore Careers in Manufacturing and Technology” will be held from 5:30 – 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 2 at Macomb Community College’s Sports and Expo Center. Featuring hands-on displays of technology used in manufacturing, the event will also offer opportunities for participants to meet people who have found success in the industry as well as learn about post-secondary educational opportunities.