The first Friday in October is MFG Day, an international celebration of Manufacturing intended to inspire today’s youth to find careers in manufacturing. The ten county region served by IowaWORKS – Southern Iowa had multiple employers willing to bring students into their plants to talk about manufacturing employment and our staff was able to attend four of those events.
In our region students had the opportunity to take tours at the following manufacturers: Al-jon in Ottumwa; Hillphoenix in Keosauqua; Agri-Industrial Plastics in Fairfield; Relco Locomotives in Albia; Myusco Lighting in Oskaloosa; C&C Machining in Centerville; M3 Fabrication in Bloomfield; Johnson Machine Works in Chariton; East Penn in Corydon; and Ray-Man in Keota. Thank you so much to the manufacturers that participated!
The one thing that students were told was the importance of soft skills. Each of the employers we saw touched on the importance of coming to work every day, making it in on time, and being able to be counted on as a part of the team. Cell phone use was brought up by at least two of the employers. The pervasive use of cell phones at work can be a problem in a manufacturing setting both for lagging productivity and concerns for worker safety.
At Musco students were told that there are multiple paths to success and not all of them require attending college. Two gentlemen who spoke to the group reinforced that by talking about their career paths. They told the students that putting their heads down and working hard would lead to rewards.
Students were given a presentation on the history of the companies they visited, a tour of the facility, and some locations had the opportunity to participate in hands on activities.
To learn more about MFG Day and manufacturing careers, go to http://www.mfgday.org!