Manufacturing Month may be over, but the epitome of MFG Day is taking off and continuing in northern Pennsylvania – a collaborative community effort known as a student-run manufacturing enterprise. Student-run enterprises are being launched throughout northwest and northcentral PA, with the help of NWIRC. The most recent student-run enterprise to receive funding through a PA Manufacturing Training to Career grant is WCCC Manufacturing, the program being launch at the Warren County Career Center. The students are very excited to get the program going in January 2023 and are in the planning stages now. They have been doing some brainstorming on marketing ideas to attract more students to the program, including a a different business name- they are leaning towards Mountain Manufacturing.
The structure for their program will be project-based with teams initially comprise of students enrolled in the Machining Technology program who have completed their required NIMS assessments and OSHA 10-hour course. Being part of WCCC Manufacturing will provide them additional training in an 11-hour HAAS Certification course. One goal of the program is to create a sizzle and attract students who are not enrolling in the machining program, but still provide them exposure to machine technology and manufacturing, and potential manufacturing career options. Since the enterprise is run like a business, they will also engage their students from their multi-media marketing, pre-engineering, and business programs.
This educational model is getting the attention of local elected officials in each of the areas where programs are being launched. Recently, on the eve of MFG Day (Oct 6, 2022), Senator Scott Hutchinson attended the announcement of the initiative in Warren. He said, “this is a win on so many levels. We, as a country, need to help our next generation to think more entrepreneurial. A program like this is a motivator to recruit students, but also the thought process learned will serve them no matter what they do.”