GREENVILLE — Area high school sophomore students had a unique opportunity to participate in Manufacturing Day last week. The day-long event introduces students to the many career options available in manufacturing.
At Ramco Electric Motors, Greenville Senior High School sophomores made a stop for tours, as did Congressman Warren Davidson.
For Davidson, manufacturing hits close to home on a personal and professional level. The former, when he helped his father in his manufacturing business (as well as a business owner in his own right). The latter as a congressman and advocate of the small business owner. He had already spent the morning visiting various Darke County locations with the plan to stop at three other manufacturers in Butler County in the afternoon.
“Manufacturing is not dead,” said Davidson. “[The] jobs are changing, and the nature of the industry is changing.”
Indeed, the industry is changing as exemplified during the tours around the 72,000-square-foot Ramco facility. The 33-year-old company manufactures electric motors and a variety of related components for use in everything from industrial to military, aerospace to medical.
The students were split into groups to visit seven specific stations around the plant. They not only had a chance to see advanced technology in action but speak with the individuals working behind-the-scenes. It was a glimpse into the large expanse of the manufacturing world. They asked questions and even had the opportunity to exam various production pieces. One station included a tiny but imperative piece that goes on a space shuttle.
It was, as Davidson said, to “open their eyes to differing options” right at the time they are more than likely thinking about future careers. It was also a chance to reeducate them on the misperception surrounding the work.
Students also learned about Ramco’s unique company emphasis on values, purpose, and working “above the line” as building blocks towards success. The vision recreated in the form of block-shaped candy handed out to the day’s special guests, the company’s message included on a slip of paper. The rounded candy showcasing how blame, complain and defend are not conducive to building blocks.
When asked about the general message of the day, Davidson said, “America’s manufacturing economy is still strong and growing, and they are great careers. There is a future in manufacturing.”
According to the National Association of Manufacturers and the Manufacturing Institute last year, an estimated 275,000 people participated in nearly 3,000 Manufacturing Day events across the country. This year marks the sixth that Darke County Economic Development has hosted Manufacturing Day.
According to Tamala Marley, Darke County Economic Development Workforce Specialist, nearly 700 sophomores from eight schools in the county visited seven manufacturers in the area. Those locations included Ramco Electric Motors, Jafe Decorating, Greenville Technology Incorporated, FRAM, Klockner Pentaplast, Midmark, and Whirlpool.
Darke County Economic Development coordinates times and locations, with manufacturers providing a pre-tour presentation at the schools before the tours. Representatives provide information on company culture, the opportunities available, and allow students a chance to interact ahead of time and ask questions.
New this year, Darke County Economic Development conducted student surveys with many responses they had never toured a manufacturer before.
Reports from each location, along with school counselors, show, “Students had great experiences, and really enjoyed themselves and feel like they learned a lot,” said Marley.
“We really appreciate the support and participation from all of our schools and businesses, to be able to show the variety of opportunities in manufacturing today,” continued Marley.
Darke County Economic Development will next host a job shadowing program for high school junior students during the week of November 11. Students will have an opportunity to spend a half-day job shadowing at 105 area positions.
Reach reporter Bethany J. Royer-DeLong at 937/548-3330 or email email@example.com. Read more news, features, and sports at DarkeCountyMedia.com.