Friday, October 14, 2016

High school students invited to learn about our industry...

Francis Manufacturing Company Account Manager Mark Francis, front, of Troy, gives a group of Russia High School students a tour of Francis Manufacturing Company which makes aluminum castings in Russia. The students also toured Superior Aluminum Products and O’Reilly Machine as part of National Manufacturing Day Friday, Oct. 7.

On our travels throughout the industry we always enjoy meeting with plant managers and human resource managers to talk about the challenges of retaining and recruiting workers. The plants that are located in a metro areas face competition for qualified applicants. Where plants in rural areas have difficulty recruiting enough workers due to their low population density of their surrounding communities. Sometimes it is startling to hear how many open positions a plant needs to fill. Here is a recent story about how some companies are actively recruiting the next generation of workers to our industry.

High school students from Shelby and Miami counties left their classrooms Friday, October 7, 2016, to participate in Manufacturing Day. Various industries opened their doors to the students to show them where their choice of a career can lead them.

For some Upper Valley Career Center students, their first stop of the day was at Detailed Machining in Sidney.

“There are 435 Congressional Districts in the United States,” said U.S. Rep Jim Jordan, R-Urbana, 4th District, who spoke to the students at Detailed Machining. “In the 4th District, we are in the top 30 with manufacturing jobs. Shelby and Miami counties is a great place to work.”

Upper Valley Career Center student Matthew Oellerman, left, of Botkins meets U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan during a tour of Detailed Machining. Upper Valley students toured the plant for Manufacturing Day Friday, Oct. 7.
Manufacturing Day, said Jordan, is an important event to promote what the region has to offer in the way of careers.

“This is tremendously important,” said Jordan. “The manufacturing business is looking good and they are always looking for skilled people to work for them. This is a good opportunity for the students to see what’s in their backyard.”

The students were able to see first hand the success of one local business.
“I started this business in a garage 18 or 19 years ago,”said John Bertsch, owner of Detailed Machining.

The company is now located at 2490 Ross St., Sidney, in a 42,000-square foot facility which employs 38 people. The company produces single custom parts to thousands of production parts for their customers.

“This is a lifelong job,” Bertsch said. “You have to have a passion for what you do. The only limitations you have (in finding a career) is yourself.

“We make parts of anybody and everybody,” he said.

Upper Valley Career Center, said Bertsch, has been important to his business. He has had four apprentices from the school at the business.

Upper Valley Career Center instructor Roger Voisard said industries are always looking for students to work for their companies.

“There are more jobs available than we have students available to go out and work,” said Voisard. “In Shelby and Miami counties there a boon in the industry business. They are coming to us to hire employees.”

Voisard said he has 20 juniors and 19 seniors in the program he teaches. Of the 19 seniors, 14 of them are serving apprenticeships with local manufacturing companies.

“If the need arises, we could increase the number of students in the program,” said Voisard. “The (career center) administration and school board is supportive of the needs of the programs.”

Kathy Voris, Upper Valley Career Center public relations, said the career center is teaching the students all aspects of working in the manufacturing field. “The needs of the workers have evolved and changed over the years,” said Voris. “Our students receive a computer their first week of school and they use it until they graduate.”

A total of 242 Upper Valley Career Center students participated in the tour. They were divided into four groups. Each group visited two companies. Besides Detailed Machining, students visited Brown Industrial in Botkins, Isaiah Industries in Piqua, BasTech in Vandalia, Captor Corp in Tipp City, West Troy Tool & GSM in Troy, MINCO Group in Dayton and French Oil in Piqua.

Three manufacturers in Russia hosted Manufacturing Day for Russia High School students. Students watched “American Ingenuity,” a manufacturing video, learned what manufacturers are looking for in an employee and watched a PowerPoint about manufacturing and Russia businesses and the manufacturing video, “Behind Closed Doors.”

The students toured Superior Aluminum Products, Francis Manufacturing and O’Reilly Machine Tool Services.

Manufacturing Day, which is observed on the first Friday of October, is a day when the next generation of manufacturers can be inspired by visiting existing companies and see what career opportunities are offered.

The founders of Manufacturing Day are Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, International, National Association of Manufacturers, Manufacturing Extension Partnership and Manufacturing Institute.

We chose to include the company and individual names because they should be commended on their good work. We love to hear stories on how companies are reaching out to local high school students. We hear countless times on our visits “can’t get enough good workers” “where can we find qualified applicant”, etc. Our plants have to recruit the next generation of workers. We have to reach out to the technical schools to form partnerships so that the students can learn the skills that they will need in our industry.

Keep up the good work!

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