Getting Middle Schoolers Involved in Manufacturing

Getting Middle Schoolers Involved in ManufacturingFor most middle school students, summer can’t come soon enough. They yearn for days of lounging around the house, playing video games, and generally, just not doing any schoolwork.

But maybe those days are behind them. Last summer at Gateway Community and Technical College in Florence, Kentucky, more than 30 middle school aged students attended what they called a Career Craze.

Career Craze allowed for Gateway Community and Technical College to reach out to students and parents who have an interest in learning about technical college, and gives them a way to seriously consider a technical career.

The camp gave students an opportunity at hands-on activities to let them explore what careers in manufacturing are like, including everything from production, to the fundamentals of lean manufacturing. The campers were split into teams where they worked to solve problems, then presented solutions to industry partners and parents.

The “Career Craze” was set up into two different camps–the manufacturing camp, explained above, and the energy camp, where students learned the fundamentals of energy audits. Altogether, the camp was designed to give students a chance to learn more about future career opportunities in the fields of manufacturing and energy.

High-performance production jobs like manufacturing have been one of the top six fastest growing industries in much of the United States.

But Gateway isn’t the only organization to reach out to middle schoolers–Oldenburg Group, a manufacturing site in Wisconsin, hosts what they call the “Heavy Metal Tour.” The tour “aims to expose younger students to the career pathways available to them in the area of manufacturing.”

The reason behind the “Heavy Metal Tour,” though, goes a little deeper. It’s getting harder and harder to find employees to fit the additional jobs that are created by the recent expansion in manufacturing.

While it may seem a bit early to introduce eighth graders to manufacturing careers, we think it’s the right pathway that kids (and their parents) need to start developing. Knowing that they are interested in manufacturing at a young age helps these students take the right courses in high school, and position themselves for a successful career in the future.

Here at NeMAC, we want to give young students the same kinds of opportunities that camps like the Career Craze, and events like MFG Day, give to students around the country. If you have questions about manufacturing, or want to learn more about what a career in manufacturing looks like, get in touch via our contact page today!

Photo credit: Alex Slitz/Daily News