DARKE COUNTY — Friday saw area high school sophomores participate in Darke County’s annual Manufacturing Day.
The involvement of leading local manufacturing businesses was part of a broader, nationwide Manufacturing Day, held annually the first Friday of October and started in 2012. The event benefits both manufacturers, who show what their industries do, and students, who learn about possible careers in a manufacturing environment.
Businesses taking part in this year’s event included GTI, Midmark, JAFE, FRAM and Ramco in Darke County and Fort Recovery Industries in Mercer County.
At FRAM in Greenville, Plant Manager Jeff Fraelich said one goal of Manufacturing Day was that students engage in the community.
“We want them to understand that manufacturing is alive and well in America and able to support various functions and want to engage the children,” he said. “We believe by investing in their education today, we can provide the skill-based work group for tomorrow.”
Workforce Specialist Tamala Marley of Darke County Economic Development said more than 650 sophomores from all eight Darke County school districts toured the facilities.
“This event is designed to show our students what manufacturing looks like today and to show them the wide variety of career opportunities within manufacturing,” she said. “Today students heard from engineers, supply chain specialists, graphic designers, human resource managers, plant leaders and more, many of whom started on the production line. We have many local opportunities for our graduates to have a career in manufacturing, with little or no training to start. Most area manufacturers will provide technical training or even pay for college when it corresponds to a position within the company. Students learned that when they have a good work ethic, take initiative and work well with others there are opportunities to grow and advance with our local manufacturers.”
Darke County Commissioner Mike Stegall was on hand to observe the proceedings and speak to students.
“This year’s manufacturing day was another success. We had a good turnout of kids,” he said. “The companies that participate do a tremendous job. This was an effort of Economic Development and the Darke County CIC, partnering with our manufacturers and schools to keep local talent local.”