A record 1,300 high school students will be visiting 50 companies throughout Oakland County on Oct. 4 as part of Manufacturing Day, the national celebration that introduces young adults to the world of advanced manufacturing.
A presidential decree in 2014 established Manufacturing Day to encourage exploration of careers in advanced manufacturing and build a future workforce in fields such as quality control, logistics, welding, design and engineering, maintenance, PLC robotics, mechatronics, metallurgy, metrology and project management to create products in every conceivable industry. This is the fifth year Oakland County has participated.
“Oakland County Manufacturing Day grows bigger each year,” Oakland County Executive David Coulter said. “We’re committed to helping our manufacturers build a talent pipeline, and we’ve significantly increased the number of high schools participating in the event. It’s very encouraging to see them recognize the value of introducing their students to the many career opportunities available.”
Students from the four Oakland Schools Technical Campuses and 25 county high schools will participate in 2 ½-hour tours of manufacturing operations. They will receive a hands-on look at how a modern manufacturing plant functions, meet professionals with a wide range of job titles, educational backgrounds, job duties and skills. Students are exposed to careers they never knew existed and receive tips on educational requirements, internships, apprenticeships and entry-level jobs.
Manufacturing Day is organized by the Oakland County Department of Economic Development & Community Affairs, Oakland County Michigan Works!, Oakland Schools and Oakland Community College. Magna International and Heller Machine Tools are transportation sponsors, while Eaton Steel Bar Co., Lawrence Technological University, Kelly Services, Magna Cosma Body Assembly Michigan, Mahindra, Manpower and NLB Corp. are general sponsors.
Magna International Chief Marketing Officer Jim Tobin said the company has sponsored Manufacturing Day for many years because it is committed to increasing awareness of the wide variety of high-tech career opportunities available in advanced manufacturing.
“Manufacturing Day is part of our overarching mission to build a skilled and engaged workforce and help students gain the skills and experiences they need to succeed in a challenging, dynamic future,” Tobin said.
Paul Galbenski, dean of the Oakland Schools Technical Campus Northeast in Pontiac, said Manufacturing Day connects students with future employers and enables them to see firsthand how skills they learn are transferable to careers.
“Students return to campus with so much excitement and enthusiasm because they are able to explore a wide range of high wage, high-skill and high-demand career opportunities found right here in Michigan,” he said.
Companies hosting Manufacturing Day tours in Oakland County include: ABB Inc.; American Axle Royal Oak; AAM – Auburn Hills Manufacturing; Ascent Aerospace; Atlas Copco Tools and Assembly Systems; Automation & Modular Components; BASF Corp.; Brose North America; Centrepolis Accelerator at LTU; Comau; Cosma Body Assembly Michigan; Eagle Industries Inc.; Eaton Steel Bar Co.; Elliott Woodworking; Encore Automation; Esys Automation; FANUC America Corp.; FATA Automation; Ferndale Laboratories; FRIMO; Garden Fresh Gourmet; General Motors Pontiac Engineering Center; GHI Electronics; GKN Automotive; Gonzalez Production Systems; Heller Machine Tools; HIROTEC America; Hi-Tech Mold & Engineering; ITOH DENKI U.S.A; Kawasaki Robotics (USA); Magna International; Mahindra Automotive North America; Makino; Marelli; Moeller Precision Tool; MPD WELDING; Nachi Robotic Systems; NLB Corp.; Prefix Corp.; Samsung SDIA; Star Cutter Co. – Northern Tool ; STEC USA; Tectonics; Three M Tool & Machine; UniBond/Deshler Group; Visioneering; Webasto Roof Systems; Wenzel America; Williams International and Witzenmann USA.Earlier this year, the National Association of Counties (NACo) recognized Oakland County with a “Best in Category” Achievement Award for Manufacturing Day. The award recognizes innovative and effective programming that benefits residents.For more information, visit OakGov.com/MfgDay or MfgDay.com. Follow the event on social media: #MfgDay19, #MfgOak.