By Gerry Schneggenburger, NWIRC
October 31, 2014

Question: if 80% of all manufacturers lack skilled workers, how can we get more students interested in new and upcoming opportunities? Answer: by showing them firsthand the opportunities in skilled and advanced manufacturing!

Manufacturers, systems developers and equipment makers came together to showcase the best in design, robotics, automation and metal machining at this year’s Tech Fest & Manufacturing Day held at Precision Manufacturing Institute (PMI) in Meadville, PA on October 2nd and 3rd. And manufacturers opened their doors for student tours including Lord Corporation in Erie, PA and Channellock, Inc. in Meadville, PA.

Event activities were made possible through the combined efforts of the Northwest PA National Tooling and Machining Association (NTMA), the Advanced Diversified Manufacturing Industry Partnership (ADMIP), regional educators and the NWIRC. But the event wouldn’t have been possible without the support and contributions of many regional industry partners like Penn State University, Process & Data Automation, Edinboro University, ExOne, Eriez Manufacturing, the Crawford County Regional Chamber, and Industrial Sales and Manufacturing (ISM).

Students from Central Tech High School in Erie, PA were able to get a tour of ISM whose products are shipped all throughout the world. The concern with Jim Rutkowski of ISM is that as baby boomers are preparing to retire, new workers will be needed. A lot of them.

According to Dennis Wilke, chairman of PMI, “The need for skilled workers translates into opportunities for young people. Job placement for new graduates is over 90%.”

Are you a manufacturer wanting to participate in next year’s event? Please contact the NWIRC to learn more!

GERRY SCHNEGGENBURGER can be reached at 814.898.6891 or send an e-mail.