The lack of a substantial talent pool in rural communities has contributed to an increase need for a skilled and educated workforce especially among the youth to work in the many opening jobs in those community. Most high school students in communities have had limited exposure to a modern business environment, technology, and careers and even those within the manufacturing sectors. Manufacturing Day events are the celebration of manufacturing practices that build local, national, and global economies. Among others, the goal of Manufacturing Day is to inspire the next generation of manufacturers and educate the public about the importance of the role manufacturers play in our daily lives and the growing skill shortage despite the high volume of job openings in the sector. Since 2016 and between the months of October and November, Fayette County Community and Economic development in collaboration community partners - school districts and local businesses - organize business tours for high school students. Information about National Manufacturing Day
Nature of activities for Students and Employers:
Students: They will be provided a brief overview of:
- What modern manufacturing facilities are really like these days?
- What the companies located in Fayette community make and who they sell to
- What kinds of jobs are available in manufacturing?
- What skills and education are needed to qualify for today’s manufacturing jobs?
Employer: The local employers give students a brief overview of their respective organizations and the products they manufacture. They will:
- Tell the company story
- Dispel outdated myths about manufacturing
- Inspire a new generation of manufacturers
- Connect with potential customers in community
- Learn about manufacturing extension partnership that can improve the efficiency and work skills, and about company profits
Organization of participants/Students:
Prior to the tour contacts are made to school districts and local businesses to determine and a convenient date and time. Students are usually put into groups not more than 20 per a group. School districts drop students off in a bus at the business facility. Also, prior to and after the tour each student is required to complete pre and post questionnaire to evaluate their prior knowledge and document changes in awareness and perceptions regarding the local manufacturing industry as well as their overall experience of the tour. The feedbacks from the students and participating employers are meant to improve future program tours as well as seeking opportunities to expand the program to other schools.